Back to class: French students end protests

12th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 12, 2006 (AFP) - Several French universities voted on Wednesday to end their weeks-long protest movement over the government's contested youth jobs contract, after parliament voted in new measures replacing the scheme.

PARIS, April 12, 2006 (AFP) - Several French universities voted on Wednesday to end their weeks-long protest movement over the government's contested youth jobs contract, after parliament voted in new measures replacing the scheme.

Students at universities in Grenoble in the southeast and Nancy in the east -- both hotbeds of students resistance to the jobs scheme -- voted to end their blockade of classes at their faculties.

At the height of the two-month protest movement against the First Employment Contract (CPE), two thirds of the country's 84 universities were either partly or totally shut down by student demonstrators.

Seventeen remained disrupted to some degree on Wednesday, with two -- in southern Montpellier and Toulouse -- closed down entirely.

President Jacques Chirac called on Wednesday for classes to resume at all university faculties and high schools.

"All young people must be able to resume their classes and prepare for their examinations," said Chirac.

France's National Assembly Wednesday voted in a set of measures, which still need Senate approval, replacing the contested youth contract.

The CPE, which would have allowed employers to fire under-26-year-olds without motive in the first two years, is to be replaced by new subsidies to encourage companies to take on unqualified young staff.

Student protests have been winding down since the government's climbdown over the CPE, and are expected to fizzle out with the start of the Easter holidays, which have already begun in part of the country.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article