Peut-on réformer en France ?

Cela a commencé, il y a tout juste un an, avec le non des Français au référendum sur la Constitution européenne. Cela a continué, l’automne dernier, avec la vague de violences dans les banlieues. Depuis quelques semaines, enfin, la France se signale à nouveau à l’attention du monde avec les manifestations de rue contre le « contrat de première embauche » (CPE) proposé par le Premier ministre Dominique de Villepin pour répondre à la grave crise du chômage des jeunes.

Ces trois évènements, pour différents qu’ils soient, ont en commun d’illustrer plusieurs traits profonds de la vie sociale en France.

Il y a d’abord l’évidente difficulté ressentie par le pays à s’accommoder des contraintes de la mondialisation. Le non au référendum, en avril 2005, exprimait, au-delà des mécontentements conjoncturels, le rejet, par une partie importante de l’électorat, les disciplines imposées par l’Union européenne, notamment, la libre circulation des personnes, des marchandises et des capitaux, ainsi que le primat de la concurrence qui en résulte. Les violences dans les banlieues exprimaient plutôt la frustration ressentie face à l’absence de perspectives que l’économie moderne offre à une population jeune, déboussolée et dépourvue de formation. Cette fois-ci, c’est toute une classe d’âge, celle des jeunes, diplômés ou non, qui, en combattant le CPE, rejette une précarité qui rompt avec la sécurité de l’emploi dont bénéficiaient leurs parents dans un contexte économique profondément différent.

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