Thursday, October 06, 2005

Benefits of research

(4 Oct) Long programme on 5 /Arte in France/Germany about 'Europe' (*). I was particulary interested by an item about a research project in America staffed entirely by well-qualified people of French and other European nationality (forced to work there due to a lack of funding for research in France). That is, it was argued, they were working for the benefit of the US. If they had been working for an American company, one could perhaps have seen the validity of the point, but they were working for a university in New York on cancer research. I would have thought that was for the benefit of all humanity.

In any case, most of them expressed the wish to return to France, if suitable opportunities should arise. It is hard to see that this is a loss for France...

From radio coverage the day of, the day after the strikes... the anger is directed not against capitalism as such, but against profits going out of France (big job losses at HP France, not because the company was unprofitable, but because it was not making big enough profits for its shareholders.)
(*) Also included a studio discussion with commentators from around the continent. Jon Henley of The Guardian, representing Britain, speaking very good French, but repeating the same point: 'Europe needs to be seen as doing something concrete for its citizens'.


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