French President Nicolas Sarkozy is hosting labour and business leaders for a meeting aimed at kick-starting the economy and bring down an unemployment rate which is nudging 10pc.
The talks come three months ahead of France's presidential election.
The conservative Mr Sarkozy is expected to run, but he is lagging behind in the polls and on the defensive after the country was stripped of its triple A credit rating by Standard & Poor's.
The meeting is focusing on job creation.
One of Mr Sarkozy's ideas is to help businesses by reducing the cost to employers of health or pension benefits - and raising the sales tax to offset the cost of those reductions.
The opposition Socialists say the meeting is too little, too late, and is really aimed at launching Mr Sarkozy's presidential campaign.