June 5, 2006


France stumbles through an optional holiday: A three-day weekend was officially revoked - or was it? A nation confused about a day off (Peter Ford, 6/06/06, The Christian Science Monitor)

It seems unfair, perhaps, to mention France in the same breath as Somalia, a failed state par excellence. On the other hand, what do you call a state that lacks enough authority to set a public holiday? France. [...]

This farce began with a tragedy. In the summer of 2003, a heat wave and official indifference and incompetence killed an estimated 15,000 elderly in France. To raise more money to care for seniors, and to assuage the country's sense of guilt, the prime minister announced an annual "day of solidarity." Everybody would work on Pentecost Monday - formerly a holiday - but nobody would be paid, and the proceeds would go into a special fund.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 5, 2006 8:29 PM

This is very distasteful.

First as a matter of fairness, it is a special tax falling only of those who work. Even worse is the harkening to the Corvee', to feudal servitude.

Fortunately we are protected by the 13th Amendment from this sort of tyranny.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 6, 2006 4:50 AM