8 3 mins 13 yrs

The inability of the European elite to bring about any necessary change in their atrophied societies is manifest in the news that French Presidet Nicolas Sarkozy is so afraid of an explosion of violence on New Year’s Eve that he has abandoned an education reform that was considered one of the cornerstones of his government’s programme after it prompted angry protests from students.

Sarkozy has often mocked his predecessors for backtracking on reforms after street protests. His volte-face last week after noisy demonstrations by schoolchildren exposed him to ridicule as well as baffling his supporters. It emerged that Sarkozy feared the protests would spill over into Christmas and the new year, spiralling into a dangerous Europe-wide student uprising inspired by the scenes of mayhem in Greece, where protests continued last week. “We don’t want a European May ’68 in the middle of Christmas,” Sarkozy told his ministers in a reference to protests four decades ago that led to the collapse of General Charles de Gaulle’s government in 1969. Sarkozy also worries that celebrations on New Year’s Eve could erupt into rioting similar to the disturbances that set immigrant suburbs ablaze in France three years ago.

“Things are heating up everywhere in Europe, in Greece, but also in Spain, Italy and even in France. The slogan of the Greek students about ‘the €600 generation’ could easily catch on here,” he said, referring to complaints by Greek students about being unable to find jobs paying more than €600 (£557) a month.

So, without reform, Europe drifts listlessly along, sunk in an economic mire, scared of offending the sort of – shall we call them “youths” – who set Parisian suburbs ablaze not so long ago.  As Europe haemorrhages employment and more and more indigenous youths find that any jobs that are around have been taken by immigrants, the tinder is there to be set ablaze. Will 2009 see this ignite?

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8 thoughts on “THE €600 GENERATION…

  1. Anyone hear the former French finance minister (and now MD of the IMF) Dominique Strauss-Kahn talking today?
    He very rarely gives interviews, but chose to break his silence to warn the West that riots and insurrection were in the offing unless the financial log-jam is broken.
    He used the phrase ‘quantitative easing’ (printing moolah) as a solution!
    Sheesh…that’s not going to do it.
    This economic incubus has developed a life of its own now…

  2. It does all sound like ‘government by scare tactics’, with disaffected ‘youth’, playing the same role as the thugs in all previous so-called ‘social’ revolutions.

    Didn’t they used to wear brown coloured shirts back in the twenties and thirties, when they went around destroying neighbourhoods and generally causing mayhem? and all motivated and inspired by a similar political philosophy as we have today…

  3. The Greek students should be commended. Sometimes riots are necessary to remind the Government that they are there by the grace of the people and their duty is to serve them.

    Where would America be today if the Boston tea party had not occured? Would blacks in the American South or catholics in the north have got their civil rights without some form of civil disobedience? I think not.

    It is Governments, bankers and big business who screwed up the economy or, at least, failed to act in its defence. These students are not to blame.

  4. The civil rights protests ( and I do not speak of the Detroit / Newark / other riots which were despicable ) were peaceful. The Boston Tea Party was symbolic.

    The riots in Greece will cause long term damage to that country’s economy- and should. They will be the source of shame for a very long time to come.

    I withdraw my prior remark about Greece being a banana republic. The population of Honduras or Guatemala would be far more sophisticated that what we’ve seen of the Greeks.

    This -widespread- violence does not serve any cause of justice. And I believe that many rioters don’t give a rat’s ass about the dead 15 year old. This is all such good anti-capitalist mischief for them.

  5. Agree with Phantom – The Greek riots are hardly the uprising of an intolerably impoverished or oppressed people. The students and youngsters rioting appear to be being treated with astonishigly kid gloves, include it seems a whole area of Athens where the army and police are officialy not allowed to go into

  6. They’re destroying their own future.

    Greek or foreigner, you’d be a fool to invest in Greece now.

    Shame on the EU if they give Greece any special aid over this. The Greeks did this to their own country. Let them deal with the consequences of their own actions.

    In the US, Newark NJ is only now just beginning to recover from the consequences of the 1968 riots. Inner city Detroit was essentially destroyed by riots that year, and there are no signs of any recovery.

    Riots are no small thing. Often the "property damage’ leads to a permanent decline in the area. That may be what these "idealistic" Greek "students" have done with their "spontaneous" riots.

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