Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:49PM
France’s financial problems are starting to threaten the ability of local governments to function properly. To call attention to the dire situation of his town, a local mayor has gone on a hunger strike just meters from France’s National Assembly, in a major embarrassment to the Hollande administration.
The mayor of a Parisan suburb has gone on a hunger strike in front of French parliament, saying he needs 5 million Euros or his town will go bankrupt. After three nights this Green Party member was tired and cold but determined to draw attention to an upcoming vote on the continually underfunded mechanism which is supposed redistribute funds to poor areas. Sevran is located in the heart of the heavily Muslim Parisian suburbs. It’s part of a district which has the highest immigrant density of any district in France. It’s neglected by the government despite a raft of problems: Unemployment is nearly 20%, double that for young workers, more than 30 percent of 15-year-olds have dropped out of school and drug trafficking is rampant. Gatignon has not been visited by the president or prime minister, but some cabinet members have shown their support. But France’s Green Party has become increasingly exasperated with the government’s about-face regarding austerity measures. Green Party members and President Hollande have begun openly speculating that the Greens could possibly leave the ruling Socialist coalition. France’s Left Front Party and the Communists have jumped on the discord, saying they would happily welcome the Greens into a new left coalition. Across the Mediterranean mainstream political parties have alternated power but followed the same neoliberal economic policies. If the Green Party cuts ties with the Socialists that could give France one more thing in common with their Southern European neighbours: governmental gridlock.