French people on strike or demonstrating? Not really surprising, essentially says the American press when France has been stopped since December 5. But for many, it is an opportunity to question a French mystery: "Why are the French, who have so much, so quick to protest? ” asks, for example, Kim Willsher of the Los Angeles Times. "In a country that seems to have it all – great vintages, gastronomy, haute couture and around 1,000 kinds of cheese – the French are playing it ‘Les Misérables’ “.

Kim Willsher quotes writer and traveler Sylvain Tesson: "France is a paradise inhabited by people who believe they are in hell." For his part, James McAuley for the Washington Post, stresses that "P.furthermore, no other western country redistributes as much wealth as France (…), Macron's retirement offers will not appear to foreign observers, particularly in the United States, which are particularly extreme ”. And yet, French anger is deep. In the New York Times, Adam Nossiter and Mélissa Godin highlight this paradox, which is also very French: the citizens of France suffer from strikes, which paralyze Paris and yet support for the strike in public opinion increases, reaching 62 % in a poll published Tuesday.

This vote of confidence for the strikers goes far beyond the pension reform, note in essence the correspondents of the New York daily in Paris. "This movement touches on two fundamental aspects of contemporary French life: distrust of the future and deep belief in the power of the street over politics". And to quote a multitude of RER passengers trapped on crowded platforms for hours and yet say their support for the strikers “So that it changes”…

And for American newspapers, the mystery thickens when we consider that a large majority of French people, according to polls, are in favor of a reform of the special pension systems. Simply note "They don't trust Mr. Macron to implement the reforms." Combined with what the Washington Post calls “the very high tolerance of the French for burning cars and broken windows ”, this created a particularly unstable mix for French President Emmanuel Macron who, paradoxically, finds himself in the position of reformer accused of not knowing how to reform, for having tried to reform…

" A Warning“This is what French strikes are for the President of the Republic according to Adam Nossiter for the NYTimes, a president who "faces its biggest test since the uprising of the yellow vests ”, concludes the journalist.


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