French press review 6 September 2017

Unions and leftists opposed to President Macron's labour reform line-up to be counted while ex-President Francois Hollande makes a surprise return to business.


President Emmanuel Macron's draft reform of the Labour Code comes under renewed scrutiny, as the piece of legislation remains at the center of crunch talks with social partners.

L'Humanité vents its fury at what it calls a "hastily wrapped up" drafted document which it claims nobody wants and which according to the paper is set to undermine hard-earned rights for workers.

It counts the number of unions and organizations  up in arms against the ordinances, namely the large hardline CGT General Workers Confederation, France's largest Teachers' Union, the FSU, the powerful French students Union UNEF.

L’Huma also says that even the moderate CFDT and CGC which the paper says had made known their disappointment and strong objections about the projected reform, not forgetting the Forces Ouvrière blue collared workers union which says it will never accept several articles of the bill.  

From the Communist daily's point of view a massive explanation battle needs to be launched to let the French people understand the full scale of the ravages it would cause on workers' rights.

Libération argues that while the unions and leftists parties criticize the labour laws in unison, they don't agree on how to combat them.

It holds that some like the CFDT, the FO and the Socialist party are not enthusiastic about waging a war they think is lost from the start while others like the CGT and other unions are bracing for battle.

On the government's projected reform of housing policy, Le Figaro wonders if the Macron administration will proceed with the same audacity as with the reform of the labour code.

The paper points out that the government needs to go back to the drawing board after decades of reckless spending by different governments which saw the state splash out 40 billion euros every year on subsidized housing and fiscal incentives, without being able to guarantee French citizens better housing than in other countries of its caliber.

What large-scale public subsidies have done it argues is to entertain an inflation of home prices and rents which render the real estate sector inaccessible to a great number of people in dire need.

Former President Francois Hollande makes a surprise front-page appearance on today's le Parisien with the publication observing that he was on Tuesday elected President of a new Foundation known as "La France s'engage" or France Committed.

The paper says the vocation of the organization is to pursue social innovation initiatives with a potential to bolster the economy and boost solidarity and national cohesion some of which were launched during his time in the Elysée Palace.

Le Parisien says the foundation comprising 150 associations, NGOs and companies founded by President Hollande in 2014 was declared a public utility in March this year with an annual budget of 30 million euros.

Half of the funds coming from private contributions, the rest of the assets coming from public grants in the form of the technical means made available by the state.

And le Figaro shares the relief of a Dutchman who lost his briefcase filled with passionate letters written by his father during World War II and managed to recover the precious briefcase after a massive Facebook search.

The paper says that a couple discovered the case on a railway platform at central Utrecht station on Sunday where Adrien Mueller forgot it while rushing to catch his train.

According to Le Figaro the couple posted the find on Facebook which had more than 27,700 shares and eventually tracked down the owner with the help of a local broadcaster.

Le Figaro, says that even if the letters were highly personal, they offer a glimpse into what the Dutchman's father experienced as a soldier fighting on the Eastern Front, where nearly four million German troops died while being beaten back and tens of thousands taken prisoner, following Hitler's invasion of Russia in 1941.

Tens of thousands of others were taken prisoner and disappeared in Stalin's labour camps after the war, according to the newspaper.

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