French government railways reform bill speeds through parliament

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French President Emmanuel Macron's proposed legislation to open up the state-run railway system to private competition and remove the special employment status of rail staff has been passed by a massive majority in the lower house, the National Assembly, as he insisted he would not back down on his sweeping raft of pro-business economic and social reforms aimed at liberalising France’s economy.

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France’s striking rail unions face a test of their popular support after Emmanuel Macron’s bill to reform the country’s debt-ridden state rail operator sailed through parliament and a poll showed a majority of the public backed his plans, reports The Guardian.