35 hour working week under attack, still

Published on 4 January 2011 at 08:00


“France’s 35-hour week” versus “Germany’s drive for full employment”? La Tribune explores the implications of the opposing models in two of Europe’s major economies. Deeply unpopular with France’s right-wing majority and businesses in the country, traditional left-wing support for the 35 hour working week was broken recently with Socialist Party presidential hopeful Manuel Valls expressing reservations on the law. Minister for Labour Xavier Bertrand is convinced that France “has already broken free of the administrative straitjacket imposed by the 35-hour week,” the daily notes. The Ministry for Industry, it adds, is still worried about “French labour costs, which are catching up on those in Germany, our main trading partner and economic rival.” La Tribune also quotes an economist who argues that “the 35-week has promoted divergences between France and Germany.”


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