France’s New Economy Minister Wants Labor Reform

France’s new economy minister, former investment banker Emmanuel Macron, has taken a shot at the country’s short working week, suggesting regulation should be eased and firms given the freedom to up staff hours.

In an interview with French magazine Le Point, Macron suggested companies should have more autonomy and the 35-hour working week could be replaced if unions and employees were in favor.

Such measures would help France “find a way out of the trap that sees the accumulation of workers’ rights become an obstacle for those who are jobless,” he told Le Point.

The country’s 35-hour working week was introduced by the socialist government in 2000 and has been a source of criticism from both the international community and corporate world.

In response to Macron’s comments, Laurent Berger, the head of France’s CFDT trade union, said the former Rothschild banker had “made a mistake”.

“It’s out of the question. The subject is closed,” he told French digital channel i>Tele.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza