Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Incroyable! Bread and Sunday shopping!

Will France survive?!?
The surge in global wheat prices is finally catching up with France. After English breadmakers and Italian pasta makers, it is now the turn of French boulangers to put up prices of the country’s staple – the baguette.

With international wheat prices at a 10-year high, bakeries across France are expected to raise the price of the baguette by about 5 cents in the coming weeks.
Yes, in France that is critical.

And in a parallel universe...
Nicolas Sarkozy, French president, has taken a bold step towards loosening his country's tough labour laws with a call for more flexibility on the Sunday trading ban.

Speaking during a visit to the Gironde region of France, he said reform of Sunday shopping opening hours would be to the benefit of the country's tourist industry.

"Why prevent tourists from spending their money onSundays?" he asked, noting that 78m tourists visit France every year, making it one of the most visited countries in the world. "If the employee is willing to work, if the shop owner is willing to open, why prevent them?"

With a few exceptions, Sunday trading is outlawed in France under the country's century-old labour code. Stores which provide "urgent'' economic needs, such as restaurants, bars, tobacco shops, newspaper kiosks, florists and pharmacies, are exempt from a nationwide ban.
Baby steps. Baby steps.

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