Moves are intensifying to try to find a way out of the stand-off over a controversial youth jobs law in France.
As protests continue in Paris and other cities, unions have accepted PrimeMinister Dominique de Villepin’s invitation to discuss the crisis on Friday.
He has also extended the offer to student representatives. However, his opponents insist the First Job Contract or CPE must be scrapped before any meaningful dialogue can take place. “We are waiting for the prime minister to be really sincere about this new contract because young people, students, high school organisations, unions and employers are ready to have a real and honest talk about it,” said one demonstrator.
“We don’t want de Villepin to change this law, We want him to withdraw it, full stop,” remarked another.
The premier says that is a non-starter. But he has hinted at a possible compromise on the controversial trial period during which an employer can sacka worker without reason.
Once again, street protests against the law have turned nasty, with several cars being badly damaged during clashes with police.