France. In January, the unemployed demonstrated in Paris against high unemployment and the government’s unemployment policy. Demonstration waves have grown since the police on January 10 suspended unemployed who had occupied 21 unemployment offices around the country for just over a month. The day before, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin had announced the government’s plans to set up an emergency relief office for the hardest hit by the unemployed. However, this measure was rejected as inadequate by most protesters. Clashes between police and the unemployed took place in Paris when the riot police were deployed to disperse the demonstrators.
To try to reduce unemployment, which at the beginning of the year amounted to about 12% of the workforce, the National Assembly in February passed a law on working time reduction from 39 to 35 hours per week. The law, which was finally adopted in mid-May, starts to apply in 2000 to all companies with more than 20 employees. The smaller companies have the opportunity to wait until 2002 to introduce the shorter working week.
According to Countryaah, the capital of France is Paris. School students gathered for joint actions and demonstrated in early October. When the demonstrations culminated in the middle of the month, about 500,000 students across the country are estimated to have participated. The requirements presented were for improvements to the neglected French elementary school: more teachers, smaller classes and more resources for teaching and material. Students also occupied, among other things. the railway station in Bayonne and a power plant in Saint-Malo. The government met with representatives of the students, and Education Minister Claude Allegre was able to announce in French radio in mid-October that they had agreed to jointly address the problems immediately.
The sitting government, a left-wing coalition comprising the socialists, the communists and the Greens, won significant successes in the regional elections on March 15. The whirlwind of the 1997 parliamentary elections thus persisted. The left coalition gained 36.5% of the vote and gained control of 22 of the country’s regional parishes; previously they had power in only two of these. The takeover of power could have been even greater, but through settlements with the right-wing nationalist party National Front (Front National), the center-right coalition managed to retain power in five of the regional assemblies that would otherwise have received the left majority. The protests against the agreements, however, became fierce, even from people within the two largest center-right parties, the Union pour la Democratie Française (UDF) and the gaolists of the Rassemblement pour la République (RPR).
The first step on the road to abolishing the general military duty and forming a French military occupation was taken when this year’s 18-year-olds were given only one full-day “military duty”. Information, reading and writing tests for one day replaced the previous 10-month long military service. These defense preparations are compulsory for all men over the age of 18, an obligation that is also extended to women in 2000. Instead, the active armed forces should be transformed into a completely professional one.
Paris has over 100 museums open to the public, and among them the Louvre occupies a central position through the breadth and wealth of its collections. The Louvre collections are supplemented for the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century by the Musée d’Orsay. Modern art has its forum in Center Pompidou, supplemented by the Musée d’art modern de la ville de Paris. Some great artists also have their own museums. Paris is a center of international contemporary art and has a very large number of private art galleries. Other museums include the Musée Carnavalet, which shows Paris history and cultural history, and the Musée de l’homme, the ethnographic museum of the Palais de Chaillot, where the Marine Museum is also located, while the Army Museum is housed in the Invalid Hotel. Furthermore, there are a large photo museum, fashion museum, film museum, wine museum and the medieval museum Musée de Cluny. In the “vision of the future” Parc de la Villette you will find a whole museum town dedicated to science and technology. Among Paris’s more than 300 public libraries, the Bibliothèque nationale de France stands in a class of 14 million books and publications. Paris. was European Capital of Culture 1989.
In Paris, the renaissance theater never flourished in the same way as in London. In France, it was classicism in the 17th century that placed the theater in the center with Racine, Corneille and Molière as the main names. In 1680 the national scene Comédie-Française was founded. Folk theater forms with song, dance and pantomime spread in markets, and the vaudeville theater inspired opera comics. During the Second Empire, Paris became Europe’s entertainment metropolis with Offenbach as operetta king. Around the turn of the century, intimate performing arts were inspired by the ideas of naturalism. André Antoines Théâtre Libre introduced plays by Ibsen and Strindberg. The Symbolists got their Théâtre d’Art, where the 1896 performance of Jarry’s “King Ubu” became the starting point for the theater avant-garde of the 20th century. The collaboration between actor Louis Jouvet and playwright Jean Giraudoux echoed the 1930s, as did Sartres and Camus’s plays during and after the Second World War. Even later, several important movements in the international theater world started from Paris: Beckett’s, Ionesco’s and Adamov’s absurdist theater in the 1950s, and the collective, political and theatrical performing arts developed by Ariane Mnouchkine at the Théâtre du Soleil in the 1970s. Important scenes in addition to the Comédie-Française are the State Théâtre de l’Odéon, sometimes annexed to the Comédie-Française, 1959-68 led by Jean-Louis Barrault, and the Théâtre national de Chaillot. Private boulevard theaters play lighter drama, and a large number of smaller scenes show experimental drama of various kinds.
Notre-Dame was an important medieval music center from the 1100s; the same was true of the University of Paris in the 13th century. More significant hoof music emerged during the 16th century, but it was during Louis XIVas it became an institution of rank. Since the 17th century, Paris has been an influential opera city. “Concerts spirituels” (1725-191) was the first public concert institution in Europe. The French Revolution led to the formation of the Paris Conservatory in 1793. An important music school also became Schola Cantorum, formed in 1894. In the 19th century several symphony orchestras such as the Lamoureux Orchestra were started; leading in the city since 1967 is the Orchestra de Paris. The Grand Opera (Palais Garnier) was inaugurated in 1875 and the current Opéra-Comique (Salle Favart) in 1840. They have been supplemented since 1989 by the monumental Opéra-Bastille. Olympia has meant a lot, even internationally, as a stage for variety and popular music. Important scenes for rock music are Bercy and Zénith.