France has been gripped by a wave of nationwide strikes and protests as enraged unions, students and workers take to the streets against a new and unpopular labour reforms bill.

The eurozone's second-largest economy has been struggling to reduce its record-high unemployment rate, which stands at 10.6 percent, and President Francois Hollande's socialist government has been pushing for legislation that will overhaul the labour market and make the country more competitive.

But the proposal has been denounced as being too pro-business and threatening workers' rights. 

Named after Labour Minister Myriam el-Khomri, the el-Khomri draft law aims to make it easier for companies to increase working hours beyond the current 35-hour working week and enable companies to justify layoffs by citing "economic" reasons such as falling sales or operating losses.

Jean-Marc Daniel, an economist at ESCP Europe, joins Counting the Cost to discuss why workers are unhappy and who really benefits from the proposed changes.

Switzerland's flagging economy

It's a country known for its low taxes, strong infrastructure, efficient capital markets and really good chocolate, but as of late, the chocolate industry has been one of the few sure things about Switzerland's flagging economy.

For over a year, consumers' prices have been falling, exports suffering and unemployment rising - with unemployment projections for 2016 as high as 3.7 percent, up from 3.3 percent in 2015.

And the Swiss economy as a whole has not been performing much better, with just 1.2 percent growth expected for this year.

For a country with a giant export sector the numbers don't make for great news.

To a large extent, the Swiss problems can be traced back to January 2015 when the Central Bank decoupled the Swiss franc from the euro.

Dr Sergio Rossi, a professor of economics at the University of Fribourg, joins the programme to discuss Switzerland's decision and its real effects on the economy.

We also speak with Jean-Claude Biver, the CEO of watchmaker Tag Heuer, about the state of the Swiss economy and the future of the luxury watch business.

Source: Al Jazeera