Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
the Mitterand model is not a social-democratic model nor even a socialist one. It's a "I keep the power to myself-model at any price". Thereof the contempt.

  • pensions : the actual model isn't sustainable and unfair. Most of the best pensions go to the public service employees and the "special regimes" (motivated once upon a time) are today an insult to many French. Why should someone working as a secreterary at the RATP go at 55 with the best possible income ?. Sovietic model. The Pyramid age is a fact in the whole of Europe. Obviously it doesn't apply to France or is a capitalist conspiracy. Even Sego acknowledges the fact, the problem is that she has no solutions... yet...

  • A lot of European countries are revisiting their pension model. Most of them have a system similar to the French (that is to say not privately funded). In what way are they "tricked " by insurance companies ? Why is France an exception ?

  • unemployment wasn't "the choice of a generation", it was the result of the incapacity (or even the lack of will) to see ahead the fundamental changes coming. The Nordic countries never got to the level of the French unemployment with keeping decent welfare - through adapting - and nobody there consider himself worn out at 60, unless for some small categories into hard manual labour. The French must be the frailest population in Europe.  The "choice of a generation", go and tell that to the guys queuing at the ANPE... they'll punch you on the nose.

The Swedes and the Finns understood already in the late seventies that they weren't able to compete against the Japs, the Canadians and Australians regarding shipyards, pulp mills and mining. So they taught their blue collars to deal with electronics and computers with Eriksson and Nokia as tremendous successes. Women in for example the dying textile industry were reconverted towards services, specially services towards elderly (a thing France has "discovered" 2 years ago). They reconverted their construction workers into high-tech specialists that build the Saudi cities. So even if there were failures and a certain toll, no Swedes or Finns ended up without a roof and on the street 1995. Some didn't adapt and used welfare, but no need for l'Abbé Pierre.

- of course France didn't stand still during the Mitterand years, but many of the achievements you cite (nuclear, TGV etc.. were started before Mitterand).

This is not the fight between two models - a "socialist one" and a "liberal one". Both presidencies Mitterand AND Chirac have failed, mostly for the same reasons, the unwillingness to take the tough decisions that all paradigm shifts include. Same in Bush's America : rather keep my little cosy power than piss off some privileged groups at whatever level of the society you may find them.

This is what this election is about : repeating the mistakes until final catastrophy or find a new way. One thing is sure : neither Sarko or Sego are the right answer. They are going to keep the monarchic French system in place and appease it with postures and spraying of small measures, another words for band-aids. Then they will be "astonished" if Marine LePen/DeVilliers win the presidency 2012.

by oldfrog on Mon Feb 12th, 2007 at 04:48:59 PM EST
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