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France mulls over its 35-hour week

baguetteFrance is considering whether to end its 35-hour working week which was instituted in the flush days of 2000.

The country´s new economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, said the government could authorise companies to waive the rules around working hours and pay. The statement came after Mr Macron had been in post for just two days.

But to do so would be to encourage formidable opposition. The CFDT trade union boss said that Mr Macron has “made a mistake”. Scrapping the rules “is out of the question. The subject is closed,” said Laurent Berger.

Mr Macron had suggested that regulations were creating obstacles for the unemployed, but he qualified his comments about the 35-hour week by saying “provided that there is a majority agreement with the employees”.

The short week has been criticised by David Cameron who said it make French businesses “more expensive to run than anybody else´s”, rending them less competitive and limiting employment opportunities.

Many eyes are on Mr Macron and the future direction French economy policy may take. It is expected he will have to expedite reforms.

He is a member of the Socialist Party, but is deemed a centrist, and replaced the previous more leftist economy minister Montebourg when President Hollande reshuffled his cabinet and dropped a number of left-leaning ministers.

Montebourg had publicly criticised the government’s austerity programme, calling it “catastrophic”.

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+1 #1 chiptheduck 2014-08-29 15:04
About time the layabouts got their fingers out. The UK can't keep supporting them via the EU - we're voting for Nigel!

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