My muguet and a single rose are on the dining room table in water, thanks to hubby. He was out early this morning and came back bearing gifts and bonheur – happiness. The selling of flowers, without a permit, is permitted to the general public only on this day. It is a tradition, along with the marches around the world on this International Worker’s Day.
I was watching the France24 debate and once again astounded at the conflict the French go through each time one of their large national conglomerates fails – thus requiring being sold off to another (often foreign) conglomerate – and the debates that this raises each time. Business reason and good economic sense fail and instead make room for a sentiment of nationalism based entirely on the nostalgia of an economic power of yesteryear, what one analyst called a form of “nostalgianomics”.
Ongoing at the moment is the debate over the impending sale of the French power giant- and a great source of national pride – Alstom. All this is playing out with debates over the right suitor and Government intervention in what should surely be a pure economic decision.
Alstom has a great deal of strategic importance for France, from the its power plants to the manufacturing side of the business, but should this have been such a politically-charged debate , or should it have been more about rescuing a company that was, in the past, a French national symbol but is now simply a company needing a strategy that will turn it around to become profitable once again?
GE seems to be the preferred choice over Siemens despite earlier concerns over what changes Les Americains would or would not make to take into account the potential job losses from this sale. A legitimate concern for a country already facing 11% unemployment and a determination to cut its budget deficit to EU- approved levels. For France it is clearly more about the workers this year, which on its own is an enormous challenge.
Happy May Day / International Worker’s Day / Labour Day!