Laws restricting Sunday trading in France were freed up in a package of liberal economic measures introduced last July by economy minister Emmanuel Macron. The so-called ‘Macron law’ allows stores in designated zones in Paris and a handful of other towns and cities to open every Sunday and to lengthen late-opening hours, on condition that agreement is found with staff. But, as Mathilde Goanec reports, fierce union resistance to the extended trading is stalling any widespread implementation of the controversial new law.
French President François Hollande announced a nationwide state of emergency on Saturday, granting the government exceptional powers in the wake of Friday’s terrorist attacks in and around Paris that left at least 132 people dead. The powers initially last for 12 days, and Hollande announced on Monday he will seek parliamentary approval to prolong it for a period of three months. So just what are the special powers announced on Saturday? Michel de Pracontal explains.
Jean-Louis Bianco is head of France’s Secularism Monitoring Centre, a public body that advises public institutions, local authorities and the private sector, among others, on the country’s laws on secularity and their application. Amid an increasingly tense political debate over multiculturalism in France, the legislation has rarely been so fiercely championed - but also brought into question. To address the misunderstandings by both camps, Bianco travels France each week to discuss the principle and the detail of the law with various sections of the population. Mathieu Magnaudeix followed him on one such trip to a small town in north-east France.