Keyword: Michel Sapin

France to seek EU review of deficit deadlines

French finance minister Michel Sapin said there was a 'thin line' between budgetary rigour and an economically choking excess of austerity.

France's powerful workplace inspectors fear coming under influence of big business


A much-trumpeted reform of professional training is being examined by French MPs this week as part of the government’s bid to tackle unemployment. But one largely overlooked proposal to change the operational structure of workplace inspectors – the officials who enforce health and safety at work – has provoked industrial action. These inspectors fear the reform will take away their independence and make their managers vulnerable to influence from unscrupulous companies and politicians. They cite the case of one young woman inspector who was put under pressure to go soft on one major firm and ended up taking prolonged sick leave suffering from stress. Rachida El Azzouzi reports.

French unions, employers reach deal on job training reform

Prime minister Ayrault says deal offers more training to those who need it most: job seekers, less-skilled workers and staff at small firms.

EU seeks to stem rising tide of cheap foreign workers

Labour ministers agree to tougher rules on employing cheap temporary workers from eastern Europe after lobbying from France.

Minister says France 'totally bankrupt'

French employment minister Michel Sapin has caused his government major embarassment after he described the country as “totally bankrupt”.

Socialists seek new fix for French pensions - minister

Socialist government says it will overhaul pension system again because former president Nicolas Sarkozy failed to ensure its long-term viability.

Arnaud Montebourg, the minister in the hot seat that just keeps getting hotter

 © L.B. © L.B.

Arnaud Montebourg's feet have barely touched the ground since his appointment in May as France's Minister of Productive Recovery, a fancy title that corresponds broadly to the role of industry minister. This flamboyant and ambitious 49 year-old, a self-styled champion of antiglobalisation, who has worked hard at adopting a radical image on the Left of the Socialist Party, now faces his biggest political test in his ability to stem a mounting series of industrial plant closures and lay-offs, most notably carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen's decision to cut 8,000 jobs. He sits between two chairs in a government whose approach is decidedly more moderate than his own, his brash and thunderous style drawing scorn from both the conservative opposition and many in his own socialist camp. Lénaïg Bredoux reports on the behind-the-scenes power battle surrounding this controversial figure who leaves few indifferent.