The irresistible force and the immovable object
Well, what happens when laziness meets the socialist welfare state?
France Protests End of National HolidaySo there are limits to the French people's love of the welfare state -- when it threatens to limit their indolence.
PARIS - Teachers, transport workers and much of France ignored the government's call to sacrifice a paid holiday to raise money for the elderly Monday — causing widespread disruption on a day meant to symbolize national unity.
Public transport in up to 90 cities and towns across France was disrupted. Many city halls and classrooms were closed, post offices scaled back services because of striking employees and many private companies gave their staff the day off. Polls showed more than half of the leisure-loving French planned to stay home.
The national "Day of Solidarity" — an extra work day in place of the annual Pentecost holiday — was part of the government's response to a 2003 heat wave that killed 15,000 people, mostly elderly.
Under a new law, workers give up a holiday, while their employers pay into a government fund to improve health care for the aged and handicapped. The extra day of work was expected to reap about $2.5 billion a year in additional revenue for health care.