Employers' federation calls for public order

7th November 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 7 (AFP) - The leader of the French employers' federation, Laurence Parisot, said that the top priority in areas of France hit by rioting was the re-establishment of public order, in remarks on French radio on Monday.

PARIS, Nov 7 (AFP) - The leader of the French employers' federation, Laurence Parisot, said that the top priority in areas of France hit by rioting was the re-establishment of public order, in remarks on French radio on Monday.

Parisot, who heads the employers' organisation Medef, said that the situation in poor neighbourhoods hit by violence was "very serious", and that the economy and the image of France as a place to invest were being damaged.

Parisot told the Europe 1 radio station: "What we are asking first and foremost is for the re-establishment of public order. Make no mistake on the order of priorities, on what is the top priority, it is the re-establishment of public order."

She pointed to the "very serious" effects of what she termed the unprecedented situation for the economy, and particularly sectors such as the restaurant and hotel businesses and tourism.

Parisot said that the violence which has spread through poor suburbs of French cities had nothing in common with anything experienced in the recent past.

Referring to transport strikes which severely disrupted the economy in 1995 in protest at measures by the then centre-right government to improve the state of public finances, and to widespread student-labour unrest and rioting in 1968, she said:

"It is not like the strike of 95, it is not like May 68. A certain number of the delinquents are attacking strong symbols of the republic such as schools, symbols of the freedom of the act of production such as businesses, symbols of the freedom of expression such as churches."

Parisot also said that the image of France "is deeply damaged, it is all a matter of the question of the attractiveness of France which is laid open".

Referring implicitly to the immigrant origins of much of the population in the areas hit by the violence, and of high unemployment in those areas, particularly among young people and in the Ile-de-France region around Paris, she said that "the heads of businesses in Ile-de-France are extremely involved".

They were "ready to do more, they are multiplying their initiatives, efforts to help to do everything that can be done regarding integration".

Parisot said that she had proposed a negotiation with trades unions in 2006 regarding "diversity" in order "to do everything possible to avoid discrimination in employment, in the management of careers" and also regarding age."

Parisot said that business was totally committed, saying: "No self blame, no lessons of morality, the company is the best place for integration that anyone could imagine, perhaps even more so than football teams or rock bands."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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