Hundreds of thousands of French civil servants have reinforced the French stereotype of lazy, work-shy onion munchers, and joined striking transport and energy workers as France is crippled by a second week of industrial action. Most of the strikers were not even aware of the reasons behind the strike, and simply used it as an excuse to be bone idle, smoke gauloises and drink coffee all day.
They are protesting against plans to make them actually do some work, and it is the largest scale strike action since last week's strikes, which were larger than those of the week before, but not as large as last summer's strikes, which were larger than the March, April and May strikes. Though they were all fairly large strikes.
Many industries are feeling the knock on effects, with sales of cigarettes, berets, onions, stripy jumpers and croissants particularly badly hit in the last few days as people cut back on luxury items. France 's industrial efficiency was down to just 10%, a 5% fall from the standard 15%.
Cycling to work in the centre of Paris with a string of onions swinging around his neck, commuter Guy Cousserant, 56, told Reuters: "A small group of people are holding the country hostage. It's lamentable, very annoying."
Traffic in major cities ground to a halt as people stopped to argue with one another about nothing really, and outrageous gesturing and gesticulating is now commonplace across France .
Nicolas Sarkhozy responded to the crisis with a Gaelic shrug.