Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

If Scotland Says 'Aye': Polls Say Independence Referendum Too Close to Call (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Scottish referendum in the media

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Homosexuality in Africa: Kenyan movie debuts at Toronto Film Festival

Read more

DEBATE

If Scotland Says 'Aye': Polls Say Indpendence Referendum Too Close to Call

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus: US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Inger Andersen, Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa, The World Bank

Read more

FOCUS

Scottish referendum: Should I stay or should I go?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Paris conference: A coalition against the Islamic State group

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Spies, doppelgangers and gay rights activists

Read more

France

New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

© Eric Piermont, AFP | Newly appointed French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2014-08-28

In his first interview with the French press, François Hollande's new economy minister Emmanuel Macron has targeted one of French workers’ most cherished rights: the 35-hour work week.

Macron told a French weekly that he would support a measure to allow businesses to extend the 35-hour work week when an agreement could be reached with their employees’ unions.

“We could allow businesses and sectors of the economy to waive the laws concerning work hours and wages, as long as they have majority backing from the unions. It is already possible for companies that are in financial trouble. Why not extend this to all of companies as long as it is approved by a majority of employees?" Macron asked.

France’s new economy minister, a former Rothschild banker who was President Hollande’s top economic advisor for the past two years, was interviewed by the conservative magazine Le Point on the eve of his appointment on Wednesday.

His appointment has turned heads in France, with many seeing it as the Socialist government’s final departure from left-wing ideals.

His first interview in the French press is likely to reinforce that view and provide fuel for Hollande’s critics.

According to Macron, 36, deregulating work hours would allow France to “find a way out of the trap that sees the accumulation of workers' rights become an obstacle for those who are jobless.”

“The way to return to growth in France, is to liberate the energy needed to create work,” he added.

Macron is one of the chief architects of Hollande’s plan to provide sweeping tax breaks for companies and slash €50 billion in state spending in a bid to lift France’s stagnant economy and tackle record unemployment.

The business-friendly minister admitted that his ideas were “difficult to explain and adopt, especially when we are on the Left.”

Date created : 2014-08-28

  • FRANCE

    France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Hollande ally replaces rebel economy minister in new French government

    Read more

COMMENT(S)