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European Politics

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Forostar, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Dr. Eddies Wingman

    Dr. Eddies Wingman Brighter than thousand_suns

    And Jeremy Clarkson will take over as Secretary of Transportation?
  2. Black Wizard

    Black Wizard Out of the Silent Planet

    If he did then he would implement his wish for police marksmen on motorway flyovers to shoot anyone driving too slowly.
  3. Forostar

    Forostar Conjure the Death Star again

    At the moment, Europe has its deadliest forest fire since 1949. In Portugal 57 casualties have already been reported and villages are locked in.

    In 1949 the death toll was 82, in France.
  4. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels


    - EU accuses Google of favoring their own services, such as shopping, while presenting related search results
    - Google claims that their data shows that customers don't want an extra step, such as click on a google search page link to visit a specialized 3rd party shopping portal
    - Google claims that their customers want Google to provide a queried service in full
    - EU embarks on 7 year case
    - EU brings hard data that customers want Google to provide search results, not something that is vaguely called "full user experience" or some other Sillicon Valley hipster bullshit
    - EU hits Google for percentage of its global turnover, in effect killing any tax loophole Google might utilize on EU market, such as Irish corporate laws, to present lower number and minimize the penalty. EU hits Google for 2420 million euros
  5. CriedWhenBrucieLeft

    CriedWhenBrucieLeft Ancient Mariner

    Seems like a reasonable amount.
  6. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    The Google thing is just nuts ...

    On the other hand, France seems to have stumbled upon a President that seems to know what they hell he is doing.
  7. Black Wizard

    Black Wizard Out of the Silent Planet

    It sounds like you want to swap.
  8. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    Compared to the past 2 (at least ) .. he is as good as they are going to get
  9. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    Or he's got an engaging public persona. He seems to get big publicity for gestures and soundbites, I don't actually know what his policies are.
  10. Black Wizard

    Black Wizard Out of the Silent Planet

    He sounds like the French Obama then.
  11. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    I was thinking mainly of this

    Macron Lights Fuse on `Mother of Reforms' to Renew France (2)
    Gregory ViscusiJun 28, 2017 7:55 am ET
    (Bloomberg) -- President Emmanuel Macron has taken a major step toward freeing up France’s labor market, a task that proved beyond his predecessors from across the political spectrum.

    Macron’s cabinet Wednesday approved a broad outline of changes to the labor code and is asking parliament for the authority to negotiate the details over the summer with unions and business groups. The government plans to introduce the new framework in September by decree, to avoid getting tangled up in a long parliamentary debate with numerous amendments.

    After sweeping aside the establishment to claim the presidency and then cementing his dominance of the political landscape with a resounding majority in this month’s parliamentary elections, Macron wants to show France’s often frustrated European partners that he can deliver. With his political capital at a high and the economy coming off the strongest six-month period of growth since 2010, he might never get a better chance.

    “The labor-market reform is the mother of all reforms, both from an economic and social point of view,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said in an interview with Le Figaro June 24. “While the context is favorable, we must not waste a minute.”

    Loosening France’s labor code was a central campaign issue for Macron and he began negotiations with unions and business leaders as soon as he claimed the presidency in May, even before he’d secured his majority in the legislature. Yet despite his mandate from the voters, the most hard-line elements within the union movement are preparing for battle all the same.

    “I call on the president to be humble and prudent, and not to think that just because he was elected and has a big majority, he can do what he wants,” Philippe Martinez, head of the CGT, France’s second largest union, said in a June 25 interview in Humanite. “Macron has blown away the political framework and the traditional parties. The unions, including the CGT, are one obstacle he can’t get around.”

    The CGT has called for a general strike Sept. 12. France’s largest union, the CFDT, said it will wait to see the decrees in September before deciding what steps to take.

    Macron’s Plan

    The talks focus on three main areas: limiting severance pay and other costs for companies firing staff, simplifying workers’ representation councils, and deciding who should negotiate wage deals. Medef, a business lobby group, is pushing for companies to have the right to agree terms with their employees, rather than being governed by industry-wide deals.

    “Our labor code no longer reflects the realities of the economy,” government spokesman Christophe Castaner said Wednesday after the cabinet meeting. Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud will provide more details of the government’s proposals at a press conference at 2:30pm Paris time.

    “France needs change, it needs reforms,” Pierre Moscovici, the European Union commissioner for economic affairs, said May 21 on France Inter radio. “It needs to be made more dynamic and that’s what we expect from the president.”

    Moscovici himself failed to make much progress on the labor market when he served as finance minister between 2012 and 2014 in the Socialist administration of Francois Hollande. In fact, France’s last three governments all tried to liberalize labor law, and all three watered down their plans in the face of union opposition.

    In 2003 and 2005 Jacques Chirac managed to loosen the 35-hour cap on the working week, making it easier and cheaper for companies to add extra hours. In 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy made it simpler for individual workers to negotiate their own departure. And Hollande’s reforms of 2013 and 2016 made it easier to justify layoffs due to a downturn in business.

    But the French labor code is still too complicated and many companies are afraid to hire because of the difficulties in shedding staff if their revenues dip, according to Pierre Gattaz, head of the Medef business lobby.

    Penicaud, the labor minister, said Wednesday on RTL radio that the government wants to set a floor and a ceiling on severance pay. French labor courts hear 150,000 cases a year involving firings and the rulings are inconsistent, she said. “Employees don’t think it’s fair because someone else in the same situation can receive twice as much, and employers live under uncertainty about what they may have to pay,” she said.

    The CFDT has been more openly conciliatory than the once-communist CGT but even it has signaled resistance.

    “The CFDT did not ask for a new reform of the labor market after those of 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016,” the union said in a June 22 statement after meeting Penicaud. “But the CFDT will take part, pushing for greater dialog, a greater decision making role for unions, and will oppose all increases in the unilateral power of employers.”

    Macron, as economy minister under Hollande, had worked on earlier versions of the 2016 law that went much further in easing restrictions on firing and negotiating own labor accords. After the bill was watered, Macron quit the government to set up his own political movement.

    “When I speak to foreign clients, the first question usually they have is whether France will reform its labor code,” said Philippe Waechter, director of economic research at Natixis Asset Management. “Sometimes we never get on to other subjects. France’s image is really at stake in these talks.”
  12. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    It's going to be an interesting few years in France, no matter what. Not sure how much I agree with Macron, but I do think France has swung too far to the left on some economic policies.
  13. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    I think it is a safe bet to draw a direct line from their labor policies and tax policies to their unemployment rate. Both make it very difficult to hire people .. especially anyone they think they might want to let go at some point.

    This should help ... and there is an opportunity for them.
  14. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    The unemployed are mostly immigrants and that's the price France pays for it's colonial past. Those people will not add to productiveness of France's workforce for a foreseeable future. What is happening here is France will cut down social benefits for people who actually work, to give them to those that don't. Rich != disposable income, this fucks up people with disposable income to pay off social peace among unemployed. Rich are still rich.

    Besides, there are other modus operandi with short term employment. The difference between USA and Europe is that in Europe you know that you're employed short-term, because that's the kind of agreement you signed. In USA you could think that you're somewhere for the longer term (which is really couple of years nowadays), only to get laid off without any legal impediment whatsoever. My personal opinion is that you should loose or tighten up depending on your economy mix, and not all job categories fit in a box nicely. Tertiary jobs such as service based anything should be flexible enough so that owner can hire and fire depending on the market demand and number of his customers. He might have need for more of less hands in a given moment. However you need protection in any sort of production job, when you're serving hotels you're serving hotels, each hour you spend there goes to your experience. If you get hired by a mid-sized food plant, and get laid off in 6 months time, you got no xp, that doesn't hold weight in CV because you were just finished adapting and about to start being productive.

    I would not hire an IT guy who spend 1.5 years in 3 workplaces. Simply you won't pick up anything meaningful, and if employer treats you like a time-money exchange device, he is fucking with your professional career path. EU states generally tend to be more socially oriented in different aspects than U.S. In my country you'd have a bit of a problem with food if you're a social case, but you'd have way, way less problems in getting education and such. Just the way the state is set up, we invest into professional aspect of people, and you being an academically apt average young potato getting to masters degree, 'we' have already spent about 1M euro on you, from cradle to diploma. We leave those people to the hands of the market because we did recognize it's the best option currently, but we'll provide them some protection afterwards. I don't want to invest into people only for them to be screwed by micromanagers. I have enough expertise on the matter to claim that both classes are assholes, working class and the mgmt class, you need to keep them power separated. The way France did it was to put about 10kg extra weight on the worker side, the way US does it is that they put a 3 ton truck of weight on the employer/mgmt side. Both are not good but US is far worse, IMHO.

    Economy performance metrics start being irrelevant for me, when you are determined to have 3rd world symptoms just for the sake of extra profit.
  15. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    You have France with an unemployment rate of 9.6%, Germany at 3.9%, UK at 4.8 % .. UK having a similar colonial past and Germany has it's share of immigrants. The French economy has been stagnate for decades and they spend 96% of GDP, in part due to a massive public work force .

    ... and I think you have it the exactly backwards in IT ... when I have hired in the past, I was pretty skeptical of anyone working more than 5 years in the same place (save for maybe a first job). Generally their skills were behind the times and pretty narrow.
  16. Zare

    Zare Dream of broken citadels

    Size of public work force doesn't correlate with overall high social benefits, although France has them both. UK's work laws are atrocious and we call it a coal mine after hearing anecdotes. A girl I know works currently in financial sector in London, economy MBA, she's living with 5 unknown people in a same flat, vacation 1 week summer + holidays around New Year, working to afford living up there and not actually buying anything nice in process.

    But alas, I see where you're coming from. It's a fine line, I'm just arguing there are better places to cut from (public office efficiency, size of workforce, corruption, bad public-private contracts etc, corporate entities working against the law and getting through, too much politicians, too much pay for them, etc.).

    Hm ok. I just deleted a block of text because it lacked head or tail. Let's do a very cold TLDR; there's IT support and IT development, and there's a business and systems/infrastructure type of development. For the latter, you're dead wrong. For the three former, sure, it's a valid choice, but keep in mind it's like 10% of a worldwide ICT cake, so it's irrelevant.

    I want to employ a network R&D engineer. It's not a guy who sets up the network, it's a guy who knows how to make a box for a guy that sets up the network. I got two people on interview, both 4.5y experience. One worked 4.5y at Cisco, the other worked for 1.5years at Cisco, HP and then Juniper. Who would you hire? Just a tip how technology works - there's no Cisco, HP or Juniper technology, per se, there are algorithms such as various "trees" that are running on types of wafer called ASIC, performing the network switch/routing decisions you want. The abstraction is proprietary - someone needs to know iOS to configure a Cisco. If you want to install network elements you might want a guy who worked around for everyone, has hands-on on hundreds of devices, so your opinion is OK there. But if you want to produce network elements, you need someone that knows how to make them. That requires time, mentorship and focus.

    Two of biggest employers of this type in my hometown are Siemens and Ericsson, their hiring and other practices are available online.
  17. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    I was thinking more along the lines of developers, DBAs, software architects, etc ... networking may be different ... my main knowledge of them as a group is that they are the default to blame all problems on :)

    Taking DBAs for example, and right now I am helping a company hire 2 of them, with people in one place for some time, they are years behind in both versions and skill sets .. because that is how their current company works. In those fields, unless you are somewhere really cutting edge (which is the vast minority) .. you need to move to learn new things and also to get big salary jumps.
  18. LooseCannon

    LooseCannon Yorktown-class aircraft carrier Staff Member

    Databases tend not to change too much...companies get them, and then maintain what they paid for rather than moving to new stuff, since they value stability and known functionality more. Our company is switching to PostgreSQL right now from Oracle and it's a fucking shitshow.
  19. bearfan

    bearfan Ancient Mariner

    True in most cases .. but anyone doing something new in PostresSQL right now is out of their minds or bought something that uses it for a back end.

    That said .. even a widely used db like Oracle, SQL, etc ... there is an issue if they are 3 versions behind and are not using new methods to load/query data. I run into this all the time with new development using methods that are at best outdated ... at worse just wrong. That is a bit of a trap in some places "this is the way we do things" or just taking existing code and using it as a template.

    In SQL for example, a few months ago I suggested using a common table expression for a specific problem and they looked at my like I was talking Greek .. that has been around for some time.

    I like working on cool stuff, if I was still doing the same thing I did 10 (or even 3) years ago, I would go fucking nuts.
  20. Brigantium

    Brigantium Work Geordie for hire Staff Member

    The official UK unemployment stats are highly unreliable to say the least. They're based on the number of people successfully claiming one particular benefit, a benefit that's mid way through being replaced with a different type of benefit. It also doesn't take into account the backlog of unprocessed benefits claims stuck in the system at any given time, those claimants who are under sanction (in some cases for ridiculous loopholes), and those who don't attempt to claim benefits.

    London and the surrounding area is a bit of an anomaly in that property and rental prices are quite a bit higher than pretty much every other part of the country, partly because investors buy everything they can to sell on at profit just a few years later, and a good many properties aren't occupied. Even very well paid professionals struggle to live there. Which is a bugger, because that's where most decent jobs are. A common pattern is to make a name for yourself in London, then move to the provinces, where living costs are cheaper, as an experienced professional, or go self-employed. Your friend's holiday entitlement sounds all wrong, I can't see how that's within the law if she's full time.

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