today's International Herald Tribune: "French in streets, but it's not '68; Protesters seek to 'keep what we have'." That sums it up pretty nicely -- the student protesters (who I'm sure consider themselves great radicals) are, this time, protesting for the status quo, in the face of the government's efforts to change French labor law so as to allow employers to fire young workers without cause after two years. [The inability of employers to fire workers is, in much of the E.U., a primary cause of perpetually stagnant job growth statistics -- though it looks like the French government is losing its battle of trying to persuade people about that].
Incidentally -- I'm reading the IHT because I'm spending this semester over in Bologna, Italy, a truly magnificent city and a fascinating place to spend some time. I'll have postings here on the VC from time to time -- but in collaboration with a friend and colleague, David Castronuovo, who teaches in the Italian Department at Skidmore College, I'm keeping a running record of my adventures in Italy over at a blog we've set up here. I don't know if VC readers will find it to be of interest, but feel free to check it out if you do.