France. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in France include Independence Day (July 14) and New Year (January 1). Extensive protests broke out in the spring against a new law on youth jobs. The law meant that employers were given the right to dismiss young people under 26 without justification during a two-year trial. The idea was that it would reduce unemployment in the age group, where almost a fourth went without a job. But students and unions raged against what was interpreted as an attack on basic justice and French welfare policy. At many universities, boycotts and blockades were carried out, and hundreds of thousands of protesters repeatedly gathered in the streets around France. The proposal’s chief architect, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, for a long time claimed that he did not intend to give in to the “street parliament”. President Jacques Chirac tried to save the situation by slightly relaxing the law.
The Prime Minister and his government survived a vote of confidence in Parliament in May. The Socialist Party had requested the vote in protest against an on-going personal conflict between Prime Minister de Villepin and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. The Socialist Party believed that the so-called Clearstream business was “one of the worst political crises” in the history of the Fifth Republic. The reason was that de Villepin would have tried to dirty his rival Sarkozy through bribery charges. The allegations – which were found to be false – concerned espionage, arms deals and secret bank accounts in the Luxembourg-based financial house Clearstream.
A bill passed by the National Assembly in October caused great anger in Turkey. The bill made it illegal to deny that an Armenian genocide took place in the then Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The proposal came from the socialist opposition, but many members of the right-wing majority in Parliament voted for it. In France there are several hundred thousand residents of Armenian origin. The law must also be approved by the Senate and the President before it can take effect.
In connection with the anniversary in October of the incident that triggered the difficult riots in 2005 in France, there was great concern about new outbreaks of violence and vandalism, mainly in poor suburbs. Many pointed out that the underlying causes of the riots – high unemployment, discrimination and exclusion – remained. Some unrest also occurred – among other things, hundreds of vehicles were set on fire. In such an attack on a bus in Marseille, the perpetrators did not let passengers get off first, which resulted in a young woman being severely burned. From the government came new signals about tougher laws and that existing legislation should be used fully to punish everyone involved. The four suspected perpetrators were teenagers, the youngest only 15 years old.
In November, Ségolène Royal was elected by a large margin to the Socialist Party’s presidential candidate for the 2007 elections.
Paris – rides and cultural life
Paris has been called “the city of frivolity and frivolity” and “the city where art flourishes”. When it comes to entertainment, culture and fashion, no European city has been a role model and inspiration like Paris, where the popular and the serious live side by side. The court of the Sun King Louis XIV in Versailles was in the 1600’s, famous for its parties with cheerful performances by Lully and Molière, built in magnificent gardens with bubbling fountains. In the early 1700’s. Paris had 380 cafés, which grew to 1800 just before the Revolution of 1789. More and more people went to cafés, the Palais-Royal or the Champs-Élysées, and a tradition was founded, which lives on today with bars and bistros in a extroverted social life. (bar counter) is part of the everyday life of many Parisians.
In the 1800’s, when the theater industry was given free rein, there was an explosive development of theater life, which became new, marvelous and entertaining on the big boulevard stages such as the Théâtre des Variétés, Théâtre de l’Ambigu and Porte Saint-Martin. A popular audience was attracted by stunning decorations and lighting effects, and the theater of romance began on the boulevards before serious theaters such as the Théâtre de l’Opéra with the romantic ballet La Sylphide (1832) and the grand opéra created great art and entertainment in one.
During the 1800’s, when Offenbach wrote his effervescent music, the great varieties opened: Folies-Bergère (1869), Moulin Rouge (1889) and Casino de Paris (1918). The Cancan girls kicked with their legs, Toulouse-Lautrec immortalized the environment in drawings and posters, and these amusement temples flourished well into the 1900’s, with stars like Mistinguett, Maurice Chevalier and Josephine Baker, surrounded by ostrich feathers and beautiful girls. Alongside this light entertainment, Chat Noir (1881) cultivated the literary cabaret, where also the French chanson became a characteristic part of Parisian entertainment life.
Paris became in particular the city of poets and painters, i fin de siècle -tiden. In the early 1900-t. Montmartre as the center was replaced by Montparnasse, which had its folk dance venues with ball musette (popular ball for accordion music) such as La Closerie des Lilas and its boîtes (night restaurants) with Le Jokey as the most famous. At the La Rotonde restaurant, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Picasso and Braque met, while the existentialists from Jean-Paul Sartre to Juliette Greco later in the 1940’s and 1950’s frequented Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots on Boulevard Saint-Germain.
The Left Seinebred became intellectually avant-garde and often political on the left, while the bourgeoisie on the right Seinebred suppressed Maxim’s (1891) or rejoiced and resented the musical and movement-pioneering performances of Ballet Russes, which Serge Diaghilev held in 1909-29 at Châtelet, The Opera and the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées.
Paris has always been the center of elegance when it comes to attire. It was here that haute couture was established in the 1850’s, and it is still here that most major fashion houses, such as Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, are located.