Saturday 17 March 2018

Unrest at home as French leaders aim to make the economy more cometitive

French President Francois Hollande
French President Francois Hollande

Sean Duffy

The French government came under fire this summer from disgruntled citizens who are angry about the imposition of new labour laws aimed at making the economy more competitive.

The "Responsibility and Solidarity Pact" will reportedly reduce labour costs by €30bn.

French workers are notorious for their capacity to stage strike action, but the current government is determined to force through measures which is says will ensure economic stability.

France has had difficulty in the past meeting its commitment to keep its budget deficit under the 3pc of GDP mandated by the EU.

Widespread protests erupted this summer at the plan to introduce the laws which will make it easier for employers to fire staff.

Those most likely to be affected by the new laws are younger workers.

French GDP per capita stands at €35,890 per annum and the economy posted a modest growth rate of 1.2pc last year.

A presidential election is scheduled for 2017, with Francois Hollande facing an uphill task to retain the office he has held since replacing Nicolas Sarkozy back in 2012.

Sarkozy has declared his intention to run again.

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