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Monday, April 10, 2006
  France Surrenders: Withdraws the CPE
France scraps youth job law - Yahoo! News: "PARIS (Reuters) - French
President Jacques Chirac on Monday scrapped a planned youth job law that provoked weeks of protests, in a climbdown opponents celebrated as an unqualified victory.

The move was a personal blow to Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who had championed the First Job Contract (CPE) and seen his popularity slump with the mass opposition and unrest.

In a televised statement, Villepin said he regretted that weeks of strikes and protests showed the CPE could not be applied but gave no details about his own political future, on the line over his handling of the dispute.

'The necessary conditions of confidence and calm are not there, either among young people, or companies, to allow the application of the First Job Contract,' Villepin said, adding he would open talks with unions on youth employment.

Students had planned fresh marches for Tuesday and it was unclear if they would call off their strikes and a blockade of many universities and high schools after the announcement."
 
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