Inside Story

Can the French economy be fixed?

President Emmanuel Macron tries to do what his predecessors failed: reform employment laws.

On a path of profound transformation – that’s the promise of President Emmanuel Macron to reform the jobs market in France.

Major proposals have been unveiled aimed at reviving the second-largest economy in the eurozone.

Following years of stagnation, the government wants to reduce unemployment, limit the power of trade unions and make it easier for companies to create jobs.

Trade union leaders are opposing making it easier to “hire and fire” workers – and what they say is an attack on employee rights and social welfare.

That fighting talk will test Macron’s ability to force change when his predecessors failed.

And with his popularity already waning after less than four months in power, the likely showdown is a further risk to the popularity of the youngest-ever president of France.

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra


Nicholas Vinocur – Politico journalist

Charles Lichfield – European affairs analyst

Jacques Reland – Head of European research, Global Policy Institute