France declares state of economic emergency

French president says it's time to restructure country’s economic and social model after declaring state of emergency

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

French President Francois Hollande at the Saint-Cyr Coetquidan officers school in Guer, Brittany, January 14, 2016

French President Francois Hollande has declared what he called "a state of economic emergency" and says it's time to redefine France's economic and social model.

Hollande laid out a series of proposed economic measures Monday in an annual speech to business leaders to boost long-stagnant French growth and reduce chronic unemployment.

The first measures he proposed are relatively modest, and he said they would not "put into question" the 35-hour workweek. He did not seek to assume any new emergency powers.

Hollande stressed the urgency of updating France's labor-friendly business model in a fast-moving, increasingly globalised and online economy.

The measures included a loosening of some worker-friendly measures to encourage companies to hire, and new training for half a million workers.