French middle class looks into the abyss

Financial problems in Cyprus could affect neighboring countries, and the first to fall under attack Italy and Spain. Analysts believe that the French stay away too fail.

In the hospital five people being taken away with a concussion. Strike peacefully employees of the French branch Gooduear tired, and the windows of the plant and flew stones at police and rotten eggs. Leaders of the largest U.S. manufacturer of tires to convince and did not work: branch in Amiens Nord close 1,100 fired. Sale of wheels for small cars continues to the peak of the crisis.

Law-abiding members spend avtogigantna RTR correspondent to the factory, bypassing manual — for own admissions, disabling surveillance cameras. For them it is a last resort. By local standards, for such antics threaten a wholly dismissal, but no chance of losing their jobs, these people still left. In protest at the factory playing cards and smoking. "Let everything is thrown We're not going to finish the car and the only thing that scares our boss," — said one of the workers.


Baguettes and tea bags — Employees Peugeot-Citroen plant in the northern suburbs Olne-sous-Bois ignore even the factory canteen. Union leader Jean Siblak group says, "It's hard work. Personally, I've been here 25 years, the health of nothing left. Where do I go? On the stock exchange? Who do I need it?" Before lunch — 300 cars, 400 more — after. Before the start of the strike at the factory produces about 700 vehicles daily. This morning, assembly line workers blocked, the main conveyor is stopped. Leadership is not going to negotiate, on a pass just post a message that the company is closed.

Over the past two years, production fell three times, sales hatchbacks Citroen C3 — is the only model which is collected at the plant — fell by 30 percent. The company's factory is simply not necessary — in April 2014, exactly a year later, fired all. However, three thousand unemployed is not the limit. Having started production optimization, Peugeot in the street of eight thousand highly qualified specialists. This in France has never happened before. Engineer Patrick Pato laments: "See for yourself: unemployed wife-she was fired a month ago, two kids and myself. Kicked me out of here from day to day. What do they offer me? Bank Robbery? Or maybe go out on the porch?"

Those who came out on the porch, can not be counted. The level of poverty in one of the flagship European economies reached a peak in the last 20 years. Even if you believe the official statistics, the poverty line were 8.5 million people — every month they receive less than 954 euros. A shoot-bedroom apartment costs an average 1,000 euros.

"Lettuce and tomatoes, it's dinner for four," — says Florisil. She has a university degree and three children. A divorced woman is working in a nursery near the house, because the specialty of France not. "We need urgently to pay 109 euros for kindergarten and 120 euros per tablespoon for each child." — The woman. Formally Florisil and her three children are in poverty — mother of many children is the French minimum wage-1400 euros, so that the manual it is not allowed.

To give us something to feed the children, Florisil to unscrew a light bulb. "90 euros for electricity, for gas — 27, for the water-58 euros, 115 euros for the phone, for apartment 617. If all add up and subtract from my salary, then life is 314 euros," — she said.

The French social security system — one of the most generous in Europe — the economy has become too expensive: pensioners, the homeless and the poor give 24 percent of France's GDP. "Saving the best for clothes, not the food. We always go to the market, there is cheap," — says the Florisil.

The queue at the social center — around the clock. There are only 400 beds for 190,000 local homeless. Social paradise for stray immigrants — a free berth in the eight-boxing, hearty pea soup and towel. French people tend to unity. But that was before the crisis and layoffs. Philip — French pensioner, a former pilot. His pension of 800 euros it spends on cigarettes at nine euros per pack. Director of Social Housing Jean Lafont states: "Many lost their jobs and fell. Around 40 per cent of the inhabitants — is French."

"We need a salary Patrice to pay the rent, otherwise we will have to leave Paris and sell a car," — says Florence Zan. The family estimate that salary wife just is not enough. Patrice worked for Peugeot 25 years, the first three years, he hopes to live on welfare. The Minister of Labour — a Socialist — has said: "We can not share a kiss, social spending will have to cut."

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