WASHINGTON — France has finally conceded some wiggle room to businesses. France, which has a strong union presence and labor codes, has relaxed some of its labor code according to Reuters.
French parliament, pushed by President Francois Hollande, passed a law that made it easier for businesses to layoff employees and reduce pay and work hours. But, the famous short-term contracts that French firms use to temporarily employ their staff will be more expensive in the future.
The upper house of French parliament voted 168 for and 3 against the new law, but leftist lawmakers were trying to stall it as long as they could to mobilize union protests.
Why the sudden reversal? Socialist President Francois Hollande ran on improving the economy, but so far not much has changed. His popularity has tanked in the first few years of his term, and unemployment has risen to 10.6%, barely below the eurozone’s average of 12%. His proposed “Google Tax” is unpopular with businesses and could drive further business out of France.
The rest of Europe and the European Union are not faring much better. Europeans are sick of budget cuts. Spain, Greece and Cyprus nearly brought down the entire eurozone economy at different points within the past few years. It does not look like there is any economic relief on the horizon.