September 7, 2015: French President Francois Hollande argues for simplifying the country’s labour code and decentralising talks on work rules at a press conference (photo: dpa)

Hollande floats Nordic-inspired model as remedy for France’s broken labour code

Unemployment in France is at a record high. Despite the creation of almost half a million subsidised jobs, the ranks of the jobless have swelled by about 1.2 million in the three years since President Francois Hollande’s election, to 6.4 million. For some time now the French public has been told the trend is about to reverse, but month after month, their hopes have been dashed.

Since Mr Hollande had promised not to seek re-election if he failed to reduce unemployment, he can no longer duck the problem. The president addressed the issue directly at a news conference in September, insisting that the excessive complexity of France’s labour code was partly to blame, and calling for its re...

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Dr. Emmanuel Martin
With elections due in less than two years, no government official wants to talk about the need for labour market flexibility. The motto is ‘less complexity but no less protection,’ leaving the inescapable topic of flexibility for future negotiations
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