Marie Feltesse

A glimpse of struggle as France eases restrictions

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There have been a series of hundreds-strong demonstrations outside hospitals

France is emerging blinking into the post-lockdown light. It is not a liberation like the last scenes of beethoven’s opera Fidelio, where the freed prisoners sing of their joy.

Although many of us are happy to escape from confinement, we are also aware that we are being chased out far in advance of what is medically sound in order to start the euro-making machinery for the corporations.

In the poorer parts of Paris, people had to keep working for the most part anyway. If you live from week-to-week you can’t afford to be too unwilling to turn up when your employer calls.

Sweeping powers puts France under the boot

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France is in Covid-19 lockdown with strong decrees enforced by heavy state power. Nearly everyone accepts that there has to be an end to most social interaction. But it’s being done in a harsh and class-based manner.

The first fine for violating the rules over confinement or being outside without reason is €135. This is increased to €1,500 in the event of a repeat offence within 15 days. In the case of four violations within 30 days, the offence will be punishable by a fine of €3,700 and a maximum of six months in prison.

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