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Performing artists around France protest against reforms of the unemployment system

Performing artists protesting in Paris, 2 June 2014.
Performing artists protesting in Paris, 2 June 2014. AFP/Eric Feferberg

Stage and screen actors as well as theatre and film technicians are protesting around France on Monday against planned reforms to their special unemployment scheme.

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Performing artists around France are on strike on Monday to protest against reforms of the unemployment system that will modify their unique regime.

Musicians, actors and others in the performing arts field can become “intermittents du spectacle”, paying into an unemployment scheme that pays out when they are in between projects.

The French employers union, the MEDEF, claims the “intermittent” status costs the unemployment system a billion euros, or a quarter of its payments.

But the intermittents themselves dispute the figure, and say that they pay for most of the costs themselves through social taxes.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that decisions will be made by the end of the week.

"We might have to go further in this unemployment system which is at the end of its tether", said Valls, adding that "an appropriate solution has to be quickly found to preserve dialogue, agreements between the social partners and open up a path of hope for the intermittents. "

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