Valls remains firm on labour market reform

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has again had recourse to article 49-3 of the constitution, bypassing parliament and forcing the controversial labour market reform through the National Assembly in its second reading. Even in the Socialist government there is no clear majority in favour of the law. What consequences will the prime minister's tough stance have for the country?

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Mediapart (FR) /

Paris endangering social cohesion

The French government is only widening the gap between politics and the people with its unbending attitude, writes Caroline De Haas, initiator of a petition against the El-Khomri law, in her blog with Mediapart:

“It worries me to see the gulf widening between the movement that we have created over the past five months and the politicians' inability to understand what has been going on. No good can come of such a denial of democracy. A government that attacks and disdains a social movement that is supported by 70 percent of the population will only reinforce the defiance, despair and feelings that our voices and our votes are basically insignificant. One year before a presidential election, accentuating the rift between the people and the world of politics in this way is irresponsible and dangerous. And profoundly worrying.”

Le Figaro (FR) /

Reform does more harm than good

Despite all the effort it has gone to the Socialist government has only come up with a pathetic reform that completely fails in its main objective of creating jobs while making French labour law more complex in the process, Le Figaro sighs:

“What is left of this law that was supposed to create thousands of jobs? An extremely limited ability to sign new industrial agreements, and a slightly more precise definition of layoffs for economomic reasons. Aside from that all it does is add a thick new layer of constraints and complexity to the existing law while strengthening the unions in the process, also in small and medium size companies. ... The country is in chaos, the left is in a political crisis, the governmental monster has been reinforced. ... This 'major' labour reform will no doubt end as the major disaster of a legislative period that claimed it wanted to create jobs.”