Mobilization of May 1 in France: “Final bouquet or kick-off?”



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On the front page of the press, this Monday, May 1, a day of mobilization which should be marked by strikes and massive demonstrations, today, in France. Another mobilization, more original, among our Belgian neighbors, against concreting. Preparations for the coronation of Charles III in the United Kingdom, where a zoo offers an… unlikely job.

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On the front page of the press, the demonstrations of May 1st, today, in France. A day of mobilization which should be marked by strikes and massive demonstrations.

This May 1, 2023 already promises to be historic in its unitary dimension, since the eight main French unions have launched a joint call to demonstrate – a first since 2009. The Constitutional Council has validated the essentials of the pension reform, promulgated in the stride, but The world explains that the unions hope a tsunami “ in the street, to obtain its “repeal”. For her part, the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, says that she will send “invitations” to the unions “next week”to which the head of the CFDT, Laurent Berger replied that he will “discuss”, if he receives the invitation. “A little dissonant music” compared to the CGT, according to Le Parisien/Today in Francewhich indicates that his new boss, Sophie Binet, assured that the resumption of dialogue will only work after the abandonment of the reform.

The foreign press remains very attentive to the social movement, here in France. The Swiss newspaper The weather wonders if today’s demonstrations will be “the final straw of social mobilization or (the) kick-off for new demands”. The temperaturehim, tries the pun on this first of May in the style of SOS, of rescue-who-can, “may day”, for Emmanuel Macron, whose “programmed humiliation” during the final of the Coupe de France, Saturday, at the Stade de France would have finally “failed”, according to the British daily.

Seen from Belgium, the movement against the pension reform, in France, goes badly, with part of the opinion. It is the finding of 20 minuteswhich recalls that the legal age of departure is already fixed, in Belgium, at 65 years and should gradually increase to 67 years by 2030. The free notes however that none of the interviewees was able to say when the reform had passed in Belgium. “We have no choice and it has not generated any dispute, without my being able to explain why”, asks a trader from Mouscron, a border town. If they do not know very well when the reform passed at home, many Belgians, on the other hand, have a clear opinion on its adoption in France: “As we live longer, you don’t have to have done the ENA to understand that you will have to work more”, testifies in particular the mayor – the mayor – of Tournai, another Belgian city on the border.

In the Belgium and “mobilization” section, again, Release reports a original title with our Belgian neighbours. A competition which started at the end of March in a hundred Flemish cities and which consists of tearing up cobblestones to fight against concreting. The authorities invite citizens to arm themselves with pickaxes and crowbars to remove as much concrete as possible and replace it with plants, the goal being of fight against soil sealing, to avoid suffering from both floods and droughts. “Under the paving stones, the flowers”, it is also good.

In the press, also, the coronation, Saturday, of Charles III. On D-5, the country is preparing for the event. THE Huffington Post reports that two die-hard Royals fans, Carol and John, have already started to set up shop a few yards from Buckingham Palace to ensure they have the best possible seat. Five days of sleeping on cots and sleeping bags! Both are certainly among the third of Britons who say they are very or somewhat needed by the coronation of Charles III. But according to a survey quoted by The New York Times, Carol and John are far from representing all of their compatriots, more than 60% of whom say they have little or no interest in the event. According to the American daily, the vast majority of Britons are “more concerned with the cost of living than celebrating a dysfunctional royal family”. Dysfunctional, perhaps, but fabulously wealthy and tax-hit – which is getting worse and worse in a country where more and more households are struggling to make ends meet. Nicola Jennings is ironic about the organization, next Monday, of the national day of volunteering, the day of the “Big Help Out”. A day that King Charles is accused of dispensing above all to himself, to his person, while more and more of his compatriots have to go to food banks. A drawing published on Twitter.

We don’t leave each other on this. Before saying see you tomorrow, I suggest you stay in the United Kingdom, where Blackpool Zoo, the seaside resort, offers an unusual “job”, for around 10 euros an hour: to dress up as a giant eagle to hunting seagulls, the main sources of complaints from zoo visitors. The naughty seagulls are accused of causing injuries to children with their sharp beaks, trying to steal their sandwiches and ice cream. According to The Washington Post, more than 200 people applied for the five positions offered, including countries as far afield as Thailand, India, Ukraine and even Uganda. Some applicants have even sent in videos of themselves dressed up as fruits or vegetables to support their candidacy. Good 1uh may everyone…

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