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France pledges half a billion euros aid to students

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By Joanna Gill
France pledges half a billion euros aid to students

The French government has promised about half a billion euros in aid to students as it seeks to smooth over relations with protesters who threatened to continue their night time demonstrations in Paris into its twelfth night.

A new demo declaration has been approved by the Paris Police prefecture to continue protests Monday night

The measures proposed by the prime minister Manuel Valls include subsidies for young job seekers and aid for apprentices and students:

  • youth guarantee – 16-25 year olds – with little or no formal qualifications
  • aid for finding a first job for young people from a ‘modest background’
  • grant-holders will continue to receive payments up to four months after graduating
  • a rental guarantee
  • an organisation will act as guarantor to all under 30s renting accommodation
  • 25,000 students who receive no grants but must pay their university registration will receive 1,000 euros per year

While the head of the student’s union said they were satisfied with the concessions, he added that they would continue to protest against a draft labour law.

Thousands of mainly young left-wing voters have turned out to contest the changes to employment laws in recent weeks.

The movement has already forced the government to backtrack on certain business-friendly elements. Valls announced that they would also bump up charges employers paid on fixed-term contracts (which account for 87% of first jobs) in order to encourage companies to employ people on a permanent basis.

However, some unions vow not to give up until the law is thrown out in its entirety.