Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A sign of the times perhaps

Uprisings in Europe are now being referred to as the "Greek Syndrome." Referring to the recent French student protests against some "reforms" to its education system was this bit:
But behind the unrest lie three other factors: a deep disaffection from the French political system; a hostility to capitalism and "globalism" and the ever-simmering unrest in the poor, multiracial suburbs of French cities.


President Sarkozy agreed to give way. The lycée protests went ahead anyway. There were more students on the streets of French cities on Thursday, after the government backed down, than there were last week when the education minister insisted that he would press ahead. A few cars were burnt and overturned in Lyons and Lille and a score of protesters were arrested but the marches were mostly peaceful.

Students interviewed on the streets of Paris refused to accept that the reforms had been withdrawn. President Sarkozy was not in control, they said. He was "under orders from Brussels and Washington". The real motive was to take money out of the French education budget to "refloat the banks".

They are not alone in their suspicion that there is an effort by the governing elites to undertake a massive redistribution of wealth - from the social services that many depend upon to the pockets of the wealthy and the banking industry. Now for the last paragraph:
The Greek, French and Swedish protests do have common characteristics: a contempt for governments and business institutions, deepened by the greed-fired meltdown of the banks; a loose, uneasy alliance between mostly, white left-wing students and young second-generation immigrants; the sense of being part of a "sacrificed generation".
It's pretty safe to say that there are quite a few nations with burgeoning "sacrificed generations" who are becoming increasingly, and understandably, frustrated with the raw deal they've received.

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