Bowing to pressure from students and unions unwilling or unable to comprehend simple economics, the French government withdrew the initiative that would’ve enabled employers to dismiss employees under 26 within a two year probationary period.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, the author of the law, announced he was backing down from the measure, saying that he believes both unions and businesses misunderstood his intentions. “I’m sorry about that,” he said in an announcement. Villepin said the upheaval over the law “reveals a social anxiety” in France and said the government will work with unions and businesses to “prepare for the future of our country.”
They didn’t misunderstand his intentions as much as they filtered those intentions through an ancient (and flawed) economic prism which said permanent employment is a right, regardless of merit or effort. Unfortunately for the prime minister, French unions are “preparing” for the future of France, which will include further unemployment, economic decay, and societal turmoil. Turning France away from that requires leadership. Anyone who would be the next president of France needs to understand that. Prime Minister Villepin is apparently not the one.