Embroiled in a row over a controversial youth job law, the French Prime Minister has met his main rival, the Interior Minister and possible presidential candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy. Along with the speakers of both houses of parliament, the men discussed how best to introduce amendments to water-down the legislation, as ordered by President Jacques Chirac. Sarkozy said: “After the statement of President Chirac, we’ve decided to start talks, as profound as possible, so a new text can be presented. We all agree on this strategy.”
Union leaders, student groups and left wing parties have rejected the president’s compromise offer. The Socialist opposition has also announced it will try to have the youth job legislation withdrawn in parliament. Former socialist minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn says he is worried about students who will suffer because exams cannot be organised. He says the role of the president is not to provoke trouble, but to bring about calm. Those against the youth job law are going ahead with plans for a further national day of action on Tuesday.