Some in this country won't be happy until the federal government takes control of every aspect of their life, I am not. I am also smart enough and old enough to now know that I am not able to change those minds of people who do. Some of these people are indeed desperate.
TODAY marks the symbolic 100 days in power for President Hollande but, coming just a few days after his 58th birthday, opinion polls give him little to celebrate on his holiday at the Fort de Brégançon in the Var - his popularity has slumped to 46% from 56% last month.
The Ifop survey showed a drop in support for Hollande while at the same point during the Sarkozy presidency the former president notched up a 69% satisfaction rating.
In voters' eyes Hollande has not moved fast enough to improve the jobs situation or stop company closures.
His first measures were to sweep aside changes introduced by his predecessor: The social VAT scheme to ease the social charge burden on companies was killed off before it started, the cut in tax on overtime hours was dumped, the bouclier fiscal tax cap for the wealthy was shelved and plans were introduced for an "exceptional contribution" from households with more than €1.3million of wealth.
He has also restored a partial return to retirement at 60, a rise in the smic minimum wage of 2% to €1425.67, a 25% increase in the allocation de rentrée scolaire child benefit - and, alongside this, cut pay for public sector bosses to a maximum of €450,000 and imposed a pay cut for himself and his ministers.
However, unemployment has risen 1.1% to get above the symbolic 10% mark and although today's figures from national statistics body Insee show that France recorded zero growth for the third month in a row - commentators still forecast the country will be in recession by the autumn.Rising fuel prices will not help and this morning Economy Minister Piere Moscovici promised measures later this month to limit increases,
which are now nearing their March-April record.
Then, in September, Hollande's government plans several important measures with the new budget for 2013 and measures for funding the social welfare programme alongside a job creation programme and plans to ease housing problems.
(ANSA) - Rome, August 14 - The World Health Organisation (WHO) will help monitor pollution levels in Taranto as the authorities try to clean up the ILVA steel plant in the southern Italian city, Italian Environment Minister Corrado Clini said on Tuesday.
The government and the company are fighting a court order to close parts of the plant until it is upgraded to meet international standards because of concerns about the impact of the pollution it generates is having on local people's health.
The company said closure would threaten the future of the plant and the jobs of the 12,000 people who work at the plant and many others in the related 'supply chain'.
ILVA wants to keep the plant in operation during the upgrade.
"I have asked the WHO to collaborate in controls on pollution in Taranto, specifically the European Centre for Environment and Health in Copenhagen, and I had confirmation (that this will be possible) yesterday," Clini told the House.
Gone are the days when you monitored your own health and welfare? Soon to be gone are the jobs that kept you in charge of your own health and welfare............