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Archive for Friday, April 7, 2006

Prime minister says he won’t resign over law

April 7, 2006

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— Some 2,000 angry students massed on railroad tracks in Paris on Thursday, halting international train traffic in a fresh push to force a new youth labor law off the books.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin refused to say whether the measure would be repealed.

Villepin spoke more clearly about his own destiny, brushing off growing speculation that he would resign.

President Jacques Chirac "gave me a mission, and this mission, I will lead it to the end," Villepin told a news conference. "All the rest is pure speculation and fantasy."

Calling for calm, he said he was listening to the voices of discontent over his reform aimed at denting sky-high joblessness among youths by making it easier for employers to hire and fire younger workers. Lawmakers from the governing Union for a Popular Movement met for a second day with unions and students in search of a way out. Protesters are demanding the measure be withdrawn.

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