In a fresh round of negotiations on Friday between the French government and rail union officials leading rolling strikes in protest at planned reforms to shakeup the publicly-owned SNCF railways company, including the introduction of private competition, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has proposed that the state will absorb most of the company's debts of 47 billion euros in return for an end to the dispute.
Newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron has made the introduction of structural reforms in France one the priorities of his five-year term, beginning with a freeing-up of labour market regulations which he intends pushing through parliament this summer in the form of executive decrees. He began consultations with union leaders and employers this week, but he has made clear that the fundamentals are not negotiable, raising the prospect of a costly social conflict. To help steer this controversial and potentially divisive labour law reform into place a team of three key advisors have been appointed and who are profiled here by Dan Israel and Manuel Jardinaud.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday met with trades union leaders to discuss the sweeping labour law reforms he plans to introduce this summer, which were a key element of his election manifesto and which include making hiring and firing easier, moving wage bargaining to company level and capping financial awards to employees by labour tribunals.
French President François Hollande, reacting after British Prime Minister Theresa May's speech on Tuesday setting out London's intention to seek a clear split from the European single market, said he wanted negotiations on the conditions of Britain's departure from the EU to begin as soon as it invokes the process, due at the end of March.
At a European Council meeting in Brussels, François Hollande said negotiations over Britain's future relationship with the European Union 'will be hard' if London adopts a 'hard Brexit' approach, while European Parliament president Martin Schulz said restrictions on immigration would mean an economic cost for the UK.
The French president said he would reject Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership 'at this stage' because he was against unregulated free trade.
President François Hollande, already deeply unpopular, faces growing anger from left-wing youth organisations that would usually back him.
Speaking at end of negotiations in Brussels, the French president added UK was not given veto over the eurozone 'which is very important for France'.
French president said there can be no special case for City of London nor restriction of EU migrants' rights, as demanded by UK PM David Cameron.
As diplomatic efforts to keep UK in the EU gather pace before key Brussels summit this week, France heads campaign against City of London perks.
Job cuts in 2016 will be voluntary and heavier job losses in 2017 will be avoided if unions agree alternative savings measures, says airline CEO.
Arriving at a Brussels summit of eurozone leaders on Sunday, President François Hollande vowed to do 'everything' to reach a deal within hours.
After last week’s referendum in Greece rejecting bailout terms Paris played a key role in helping Athens say analysts and Greek minister.
'We underestimated their power': Greek government insider lifts the lid on five months of 'humiliation' and 'blackmail'
In this interview with Mediapart, a senior advisor to the Greek government, who has been at the heart of the past five months of negotiations between Athens and its international creditors, reveals the details of what resembles a game of liar’s dice over the fate of a nation that has been brought to its economic and social knees. His account gives a rare and disturbing insight into the process which has led up to this week’s make-or-break deadline for reaching a bailout deal between Greece and international lenders, without which the country faces crashing out of the euro and complete bankruptcy. He describes the extraordinary bullying of Greece’s radical-left government by the creditors, including Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem’s direct threat to cause the collapse of the Hellenic banks if it failed to sign-up to a drastic austerity programme. “We went into a war thinking we had the same weapons as them”, he says. “We underestimated their power”.