Macron tries to sell plan to reform France's labor market

French President Emmanuel Macron will host President Vladimir Putin of Russian Federation in Versailles next Monday, their first meeting after Macron pledged during his election campaign to deal firmly with Russian Federation while also seeking to work with Putin against the Islamic State group.

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen says she would find it natural if the National Front's No. 2 official leaves the party if it drops one of the top issues she defended during her unsuccessful run for the presidency: giving up the euro currency.

The head of France's biggest moderate trade union, CFDT, said on Tuesday he had told President Emmanuel Macron in talks not to try to rush through his labor reform plans this summer. French unemployment has hovered around 10 percent for years.

Macron's meetings with unions and employers were a first crucial test of his commitment to carry out labor reforms which he sees as vital to reviving an economy bedeviled by high unemployment, but which are opposed on the Left.

During the roller-coaster campaign, Macron said he would seek parliament's approval over the summer for powers to push through legislation by means of executive decree.

"If the government wants to force its reforms through or doesn't take into account our proposals, there will be anger and also mobilization", the CGT's head, Philippe Martinez, warned on Europe 1 radio on Monday.

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) meets Laurent Berger (R), leader of the French Democratic Confederation of Labour (CFDT) labour union, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, May 23, 2017.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday called for increased vigilance after a suicide bombing attack struck the British city of Manchester and left scores of casualties.

Pierre Gattaz, president of France's main business lobby, the Medef, insisted, on the contrary, the reform needs to be quick to restore confidence in the country's economic sphere.

The appointment of Penicaud, a former human resources director at yoghurt giant Danone who was also a member of Socialist grandee Martine Aubry's staff when she introduced the 35-hour working week, was well received by reformist unions.

  • Zachary Reyes