A country’s economy usually reckons with their international standing. Europe’s economy has been one in decline from recent years and France is no stranger to having idling economy seeing as for the past three years it has seen an economic growth of zero.
Last August, 37-year-old Emmanuel Macron, a former investment banker, was appointed as France’s new Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs in a government led by Manuel Valls. Not only is he the youngest member, but he has been given one of the most difficult tasks: to reform France’s Economy.
In France, the passing of a law goes through the proposal from the government to the Parliament (two houses make up the Parliament: the National Assembly and the Senate) and can only becomes a law once they are passed in this body and are signed by the President.
Now, as wanting to do so, Macron proposed “La loi Macron,” which literally translates to the Macron Law. The government has decided to adopt “La loi Macron” due that it shows promise for an amelioration of their economic future. However, Parliament is still to vote on it. This draft has caused much controversy but an international outsider is to ask, what exactly is “La loi Macron”?
Here are a few key point that the Macron law covers:
- Sundays are work days, this means that instead of having to open on only five Sundays a year, shopkeepers and employers will be required to be open on one Sunday each month bringing the total up to 12 Sundays per year.
- Making bus transportation more accessible and affordable to the poor by liberalizing it which could in turn create jobs.
- Making careers such as notaries more competitive, hence deregulating them.
- Simplify Labor court procedures and to reduce delays by hiring more people in the sector.
Its goal? To liberalise the economy and boost growth.
Tomas Dobos, a third year Business student at the University of Windsor does see the advantages to this, especially with the Sunday working day factor
“A lot of times the government attempts to boost the economy by injecting money into it through tax rebates and funding large corporations which does not work as effectively as direct public spending.”
However, it seems to have sparked a controversy amongst its people. Last December, the city of Paris saw many lawyers, notaries, and bailiffs take to the streets in protest because they did not wish for their jobs to be deregulated.
Eric Lelong, director of Briocherie Lelong, an artisan bakery found just outside the Tours France’s train station, does not really see it making a big impact, “C’est un peu comme tout fait le gouvernement actuellement, ça n’a pas de sens.” [“It’s kind of like everything the government does, much of which does not make sense.”]
When asked to clarify, Lelong stated that a lot of people are already working Sundays and that its part of real life.
To many, the concern was if this law would affect the 35 hour work week, which it does not. The reason for controversy seems to be the fact that it is hampering with tradition. That Sundays are the sacred day that most have off during the weekend. However, many shops extend their weekend and also take Mondays off.
Now the stewing begins whether or not parliament will approve this law and if it truly will fulfil Emmanuel Macron’s goal.
The30’s foreign correspondent joins us in this following video to give a brief run down of the Macron Law.