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French PM vows action to stem rise of far right

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French PM vows action to stem rise of far right
Photo: AFP
08:39 CET+01:00
The French Prime Minister has vowed to take urgent action to cut unemployment, acknowledging measures are needed to stem the rise of the far-right National Front.

The record performance of the far-right National Front in the regional elections seem to have jolted the French government into action, with the Prime Minister vowing to take on the economic “state of emergency”.

French PM Manuel Valls has vowed to draw up a series of measures to combat record unemployment and in doing so stem the rising tide of the National Front.

Despite the National Front being beaten in the second round of the regional elections Valls said it wasn't a moment for triumphalism.

Valls was one of the many politicians to vow to learn lessons from the performance of Marine Le Pen's party and also promised to listen to the French people.

But he accepted that the government must take urgent measures to get unemployment down and young people – so many of whom voted for the far right – back into work.

Finding work for the jobless would be a “priority of priorities”.

Although the PM did not announce any concrete measures, he said the government would be concentrating on the “essential” – creating jobs and apprenticeships and offering training to those without qualifications.

Valls said the measures would be announced in January.

“We have to act quickly,” he said.

There is much speculation about what the Prime Minister could actually do that would have any positive impact in such a short space of time.

The ideas mentioned surround cutting payroll charges for smaller companies when they recruit new workers.

Another measure that could return to the table is to limit the amount of compensation that can be paid out to workers who are dismissed.

This idea was put forward as part of a package of reforms earlier this year, but rejected by the Constitutional Council.

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