First Hundred Days: A Strike, already?


An English neighbor suggested today that I should begin writing about the first 100 days of Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency (from an American perspective). The first hundred days begins today, May 16th. Although it was nice of him to imagine I would have anything useful to add to the plethora of news reports (in particular the International Tribune’s May 8th story by Katrin Bennhold ‘Sarkozy pledges to ‘act very fast’ and The Sunday Times International Culture Sections’s “France, prepare for action man (Excerpts of Nicolas Sarkozy’s testimony published by Harriman House). Short of sprouting wings, becoming a human fly, and ending up on an Elysee Palace wall, what could I possibly add to the tower of babble interspersed with photos of Sarko in swimming trunks, or jogging gear? Yes, we ARE getting ready to work like crazy! Anyhow, flies don’t even last for a hundred days.

That being understand, here is my measly pittance re the first 100 days (from an outside observer’s perspective). In Sarkozy’s testimony, he stated that one of the two most difficult things to do was to choose the right team. And what he might have added to that is to hope and pray that the people you ask to join your team will say ‘yes’. People here are talking about two that may have been asked and may or may not say yes: Hubert Vedrine and Bernard Kouchner . Being from different ends of the political spectrum doesn’t deter Sarkozy from trying to find the most capable man or women to fill the post.
This, in itself is very promising. Is Sarkozy trying to set a business model by beginning with the very business of putting together a cabinet of brilliant minds?

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As quickly as Sarkozy plans to move on changes in the work place i.e. loosening up the 35 hour work week (for those of us who are workaholics and would actually like to get paid) for it, it seems that labor unions are moving just as quickly to meet him at the pass. If you think the first hundred days of this presidency might resemble an old fashioned Western, your guess is as good as mine. Is it any surprise that Aujourd’hui mentions an imminent strike of security workers at both CDG and Orly? Just in time for summer vacation

To be more specific, the employees of the ‘surete aeroportuaire’ have been called to strike – which means that although flights will most likely continue, there may be some ‘perturbations’ i.e. delays of one sort or another. If you are planning a flight connection through CDG or Orly, you will want to make sure that you have ample time between connections.