French President Emmanuel Macron rubber stamps new labour laws, despite a second round of demonstrations by protesters claiming the reforms will hurt the middle class and the worse-off. Jagdip Cheema reports.
French President Emmanuel Macron has firmly laid down the law. He's formally signed five decrees which overhaul the country's labour laws. The decision has been protested against by thousands. But Macron has decided to follow through with his election pledge. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "He was elected on the basis that he would introduce and push through reforms that were necessary to create real wealth within France." The reforms include giving companies greater freedom to hire or fire staff. And capping payments for staff who win unfair dismissal claims. The labour unions are unhappy and have called for more protests. But with unemployment already at 9.5 percent, some believe change was needed. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "It looks like he can brush aside a lack of popularity within the unions because there's a broader sense I think within France that these reforms are sort of reluctantly needed." Macron expects the reforms to become law within days. And he's promised further reforms to revitalize France's stagnant economy.