RAMIN MAZAHERI—The reality is that austerity continues, and I’ll explain why: Essentially, Macron didn’t want to waste his tiny amount of political capital by fighting for the small prize of austerity cuts. A much more lucrative prize – for the bosses and stockholders – is if he can successfully push through his backdoor raising of the retirement age to 64 as well as the shift to a universal, one-size-fits-all retirement system which even the mainstream media calls “radical”. And then after that, another radical reform to the unemployment system.
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ALEXANDRA—To get around Moscow, we mostly took the metro and bus. A three-day pass which gives access to the metro, bus, tramways and elektrichka (commuter train) costs 438 rubles (about $9). The stations are clean (even the tracks) although the more central ones are a bit on the tired side, many steps quite used by the innumerable passengers; in some connecting tunnels between lines the pavement is uneven. All stations are announced in Russian and English. Wi-fi is available throughout the system, which is easy to access with your mobile phone.