Tax Cuts Or Strikes? A Lose Lose Proposition For France

Autumn is protest season in France, when labor leaders try to whip up strikes and demonstrations to bend government policy for the coming year. Last year, street plebiscites worked beautifully. Weeks of protest marches led to a December strike that crippled France for three weeks and quashed plans to cut civil servants' benefits. Now, the labor boss who led that triumph, Marc Blondel of the Force Ouvriere union, thinks he can stop the budget-cutters again. "All the ingredients are there for a general explosion," he says.

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