French Economy Minister To Present Labor Reforms Today

With France’s economy in the doldrums and the government under pressure to boost jobs, the country’s economy minister is poised to launch a package of reforms on Wednesday to unlock France’s economic potential.

Plans to reform France’s rigid labor market and deregulate certain “protected” professions such as pharmacists and taxi drivers are among the measures due to be launched by Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron when he presents his “growth and activity bill” later Wednesday.

One of the more controversial reform measures is a proposal to allow businesses to open on over the weekend, albeit for a mere 12 further Sundays a year. Although Sunday trading is the norm in countries like the U.K. and U.S., it goes against the cultural grain in France and there are strict regulations governing weekend trading licenses.

With a slumping economy and high unemployment France’s socialist government, led by President Francois Hollande, does not have much of a choice, however.

The jobless rate rose to 10.4 percent in the third quarter, up from 10.1 percent in the previous quarter, the country’s statistics body INSEE reported last week. Data released by Markit last week also showed an ongoing decline in business activity, further fueling concerns over the country’s poor economic environment.

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
Alfonso Esparza

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