|Château in the Haute Côte (west and up from Chambolle)|
The month of May has certainly been a mixed bag of "stuff".
I had noted that there was a freeze at the end of April. Damage is extensive, some vignerons may need to sell out, crops totally destroyed( some also lost to hail last year). Final damage has not been estimated. South of Gevrey, Morey-Saint-Denis and Chambolle-Musigny were hit very hard. Only time will tell.
|Setting up the expo in the Caveau de Gevrey|
|One of my photos -Château -Gevrey|
As usual, we had our pizza party after the vernisage (opening). Aperitfs all good, salads and other good bites to taste, pizza, cheese course, and dessert. And with all this, some very good wines! So many of you have had a 4 course pizza dinner with Grand Cru wine?
But the first part of May, I did go for a walk above Chambolle.
All the strikes, protests, and riots have been over the new work laws. Hollande (president) and Valls (prime minister) decided to change work laws. They reason that these changes will bring down the high unemployment.
I will try to give it a simple explanation. The new law or regulations would not, in all probability, pass due to the opposition. So a little used method of law was pulled out, shaken out and used.
Valls called for a vote of confidence. If the vote was YES, the law passed, if the vote was NO (no confidence), the government would disband and the law would not pass.
But the catch here is that those voting YES or NO would loose their jobs with a no vote. That is, if the government disbands, all positions would be up for a new election. See the catch?
With so much controversy over government in general the last few years (Hollande is not popular), what was the chance to be re-elected? So some who had opposed the law, voted YES to save their jobs. This did not go over real well!!! Pas du tout.
- France passed a 35 hour work week in 2000 . It had been 40 week. Businesses can now negotiate with local trade unions on more or fewer hours from week to week, up to a maximum of 46 hours. So a worker goes from 35 hours to 46, and no overtime for the 11 additional hours of work each week. WOW, what a deal is that?
- The 35 hour week is part of the french life now, and very hard to take away a benefit. Salaries have been closely regulated by the government. Now businesses are given greater freedom to reduce pay. This is to "help" a company in time of downturn in the economy. ( yah, right !!)
- The new law eases conditions for laying off workers, which is strongly regulated in France. It is thought that companies could layoff at a time of downturn. Question is, do the older get laid off, and the younger (less expensive) employees are hired?
- France employees have 5 weeks’ vacation, minimum, plus holidays..NOW. New law, employers would get more leeway to negotiate holidays. (do you think they would give them more holidays?)
- Also, special leave, such as maternity leave could be changed. These leaves have always been heavily regulated.
The result has been protests, demonstrations, and riots this month. The oil refiners have been blocked, so there is a shortage of gas at the stations. The nuclear plant employees were also on strike, so electricity was threatened (it was diminished last week – a slight brown out). Transport has also been hit with strikes; trains and metro. And is is to continue.
Majority of the people do not support the changes (poll taken said 67% are against the new law), and the only voice that they have right now, is to protest. Unfortunately, some of the protest have gone violent.
The law was not voted in through traditional channels, so there were no discussions, or compromises or the possibility of rejection.
France is hosting the EURO, the football games in June and July. There is the threat that all these strikes may effect the games!
Hollande has said he will not back down. Valls said that maybe some points could be discussed.
Stay tuned. There is more to come, I can assure you that.
- · 3 Tomatoes ( roma are good because they have more pulp)
- · Chorizo, sliced
- · Sauce ( your favorite or homemade)
- · Mozzarella cheese
- · Pizza dough (if so inclined: recipe for homemade dough by Jamie Oliver below)
- . Preheat the oven (I have used our gas grill sometimes too)
- . I always bake the crust for 5-10 minutes before I add ingredients. You do need to watch carefully and puncture the dough bubbles with a fork
- . Slice the tomatoes thin. I put them on a paper towel to absorb some of the juice. Other times if the tomatoes are real juicy, I bake in a low oven for about 30 minutes to dry. Juicy fresh tomatoes will make a mess on a pizza.
- . Remove dough from oven. If you have used a pizza setting (heat from the bottom only) or had it on the grill, flip over so the cooked side is now up.
- . Add sauce, tomatoes, chorizo and cheese.
- . Bake another 15 minutes