A Dramatic Pause

Every summer, culture vultures from all over the world come to France to enjoy its arts festivals. This year they may be out of luck. Protests by thousands of performing-arts workers forced cancellation of concerts and other events last week — and may scuttle France's entire festival season. The protests, meant to shout down changes in the French unemployment system, follow on the heels of strikes that brought the nation to a halt in May and June.

The new disruption caused the renowned Aix-en-Provence festival to cancel at least its first three days of musical performances, and...

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