Why are so many young French people feeling demotivated and quitting their jobs?
French workers have at least 5 weeks of holiday per year, more than twice the US standard. They pioneered « the right to disconnect » after a day’s work. They have been protesting for months against a pension reform that would raise the age of retirement from 62 to 64 for most people. Lawmaker Sandrine Rousseau recently defended French people’s « right to be lazy » in a debate at the National Assembly, which also happens to be the title of a famous philosophy essay penned by socialist thinker Paul Lafargue in the 19th Century. US based historian Robert Zaretsky, who specialises in European intellectual history, penned an op-ed on the topic. And in the US an increasing number of young people have started « quiet quitting », or refusing to go above and beyond what is asked of them at work.
The French love a long holiday. And a strike. But are they really work-averse?