It’s the French economy stupid…

Jonathan Pierce thinks the trouble in France is more economic than religioustoo much state and not enough real jobs!

  • ch in texas

    If the French intifada is about jobs, try walking up to all the “jobless” with good offers in hand.

    Dressed as a Jew………

  • Lettuce


    Not sure to get your point, could you clarify what you meant about jews and jobless in France?

    Anyway, good analysis from Pascal Riche, Liberation’ journalist in the US, on TPM cafe:
    “Don’t believe Fox News. France is not on the verge of a civil war, and what is happening in my country is not a jihad. The riots in the French “banlieues” are nevertheless very serious: they are one of the most serious social crises of the last 60 years. And they signal the death of our century-old “integration model,” one of the pillars of the modern French Republic. As the Prime Minister Villepin put it: “We must be lucid:the Republic faces a moment of truth.””

  • Eoin Madden

    Of course this is about jobs!
    The rioters are jobless youths from disadvantaged areas. Many of the rioters are 2nd and 3rd generation French, whose descendants came from North Africa, many other are recent Muslim immigrants.

    They feel disenfrachised, because they are regarded as being neither fully French nor fully African nor indeed fully Muslim. As Muslims and Africans living in France they feel they are neither fish nor fowl.
    They find that they have not and cannot ingregrate into French society.

    These youths live in rundown areas. Prospective employers refuse to give a job to someone from the banlieues and so spiralling poverty has occurred.

    If they had jobs they would feel like they have a meaningful role in society and are valued by society. They would be more integrated and could more readily identify themselves as ‘French’.

  • kevin quinn

    I agree in part Eoin, although the provision of jobs alone cannot wholey rectify the deep isolation felt by French African Communities. Nor is it realistic to believe that this is a viable option. years of institutional racism has left the minorities on the outskirts of cities in areas devoid of any economic infrastructure. Those groups were obviously placed there to keep them out of sight. This is a result of a mentality prevalent within French society, one that has resulted in very few Africans in positions of influence in France. Look at the government for example, all white. I think that there does need to be a lot of soul searching and also some structures to address this disparity and of course economic investment.

  • Zorro

    Of course this is about jobs!

    I feel this is true but only up to a point. After all, whether at home or abroad, you seldom see the well paid affluent business man rioting on the streets do you? But surly the disturbances seen in France arise from a more deep rooted battle of ideologies; one where structured, institutional religion fights to exert a dominant influence on secular democracy. There are many examples of conflicts that have arisen from the refusal of governments to acknowledge a role for institutional religion and this has sparked massive social unease which will inevitably explode.

    It would be easy to look for the causes of the rioting in economic and social injustice but to avoid putting the pan back on to simmer, society need to de more than scratch the surface; it needs to dig deep.

  • lettuce
  • kevin quinn

    Indeed it is deeper, but most people are generally not led by ideologies. They are led by what they see everyday, where they live, their prospects and their treatment by authority. The battle for ideology argument supposes that people put the everyday aside and are governed by loftier ideals. I can’t see that myself, it certainly figures at some level for some and for a hard core minority it is central, but I think they are the exception.

  • kevin quinn

    Lettuce, compare the numbers of those individuals to the UK where you have individuals from minorities in much more influential positions. Even in the states the case is different.

  • Lettuce


    To say: “Look at the government for example, all white” is simply wrong,

    I compare, I compare, How many Ministers in Blair’s Cabinet are coming from an ethnic minority?

  • Brian Boru

    It’s a bit of both. Muslims from Middle Eastern backgrounds have consistently proven very difficult indeed to integrate into Western society. Our values are just too different – especially on issues like womens’ rights and the role of religion (if any ) vis a visa the state.

  • Nestor Makhno

    Kevin – ‘that people put the everyday aside and are governed by loftier ideals…’

    I dunno if they could be described as ‘loftier ideals’ but I would diagree. People are quite willing to undermine the quality of their everyday lifes for abstract notions – things like nationalism and religion. Surely, of all people, we here in Northern Ireland, know how to efficiently cut off our noses to spite our faces?!

    Many of the Islamist bombers have been well-educated, middle class young people with lots of opportunities and prospects. The knee-jerk call of religion and nationalism is hard for most to resist. (Imm, I’m sounding more like my namesake every day…)

  • Brian Boru

    Muslims from Middle Eastern backgrounds have consistently proven very difficult indeed to integrate into Western society.

    There is little evidence to suggest that any significant proportion of those rioters who are Muslim have Middle Eastern backgrounds.

  • Henry94

    I like the way the optimists are saying it’s only about jobs. As if that was an easy one to solve. Remember the French rejected the EU constitution because its timid platitudes about job creations looked to them like the introduction of hated Anglo-Capitalism.

    Solving the jobs crisis in France would cause riots of its own.

  • Brian Boru

    Hugh Green OK fair enough I should have included North Africa. Including that my point stands.



    the irony being that the greatest political supporter of the anglo economic model is Sarkozy, the very same man with the(IMO)greatest responsibility for creating this mini crisis.

  • Henry94


    I don’t think you can blame him. This was always coming. Right now he might be the only guy who can stop LePen becomming President.



    I’m not convinced that he didn’t think of that before he lit the fuse.
    Having said that, the left held their noses and voted for Chirac the last time, and they are very angry they were not sufficiently rewarded as a result.It remains to be seen whether they will do the same again.
    As well as this, Chirac does not like Sarkozy, mainly due to Sarkozys fondness for the anglo model.
    I still think de Villepin could outflank him and get the nomination.

  • 6countyprod

    I bet ya Bush and Blair wish they had as much control of their national media as the French government has of theirs.

  • 6countyprod

    Key quote in above link: [Mr Dassier] admitted his decision (about censoring coverage of riots) was partly motivated by a desire to avoid encouraging the resurgence of extreme rightwing views in France.

    Wow, talk about political manipulation of news. The New York Times could learn a lot from these guys.

  • 6countyprod