France Tosses New CPE Law

Weeks of protests by French youth paid off as the government repealed the controversial job contract that would have made it easy for employers to fire young adults in just two years.

Although, there is no new law in place, the French government plans to create subsidies in order to encourage employers to hire more young workers. They also plan to become more involved in the work force.

According to the washingtonpost.com the government also plans to implement more programs at universities and colleges to help lower income students and to use the same laws that help high school dropouts find jobs. Minorities are now expecting new and better employment legislation, one that will give them more security.

BBCNews.com explains that students and labor unions will continue to protest for more permanent jobs and a change in the entire law on equal opportunities. “I’m glad we won today, but I’m not ecstatic,” Marie Le Meledo, an 18-year-old student told washingtonpost.com. “What should happen next? I don’t feel as though this government represents me at all.”

The washingtonpost.com siad that many students and labor unions believe that leaders should have consulted employers and hear the opinions of interest groups before attempting to pass the law. “This whole crisis could have been avoided with the simple implementation of elementary democratic rule,” said Francois Bayrou, president of the centrist UDF party.

Public opinion of the leaders associated with the contract, President Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, have plummeted, according to the washingtonpost.com. Villepins’ public opinion rate has dropped from 49 percent in January to 25 percent this past weekend. BBC.com explained that this can definitely have a negative effect on Villepin’s campaign if he plans on running for president in 2007.

Another negative effect of the protests, which almost lasted a month and sometimes became violent, includes declining tourism rates expected for the spring. According to wikipedia.com, tourism is France’s biggest industry and accounts for 66 percent of France’s income. Therefore, France’s economy may suffer as well.