France has long prided itself on its generous labor laws, that give workers more security and more perks than in most European countries. But hit by the eurozone crisis and an ageing population, France now needs reform
European rules have always been somewhat flexible, but they are supposed to apply to all countries. By treating big countries gently and small countries harshly, the EU strains its credibility, writes DW's Barbara Wesel.
French President Francois Hollande has called for "responsibility" and "lucidity" from his Socialist lawmakers, days after his government was forced to ram an economic reforms package through parliament without a vote.
The EU executive has granted France two more years to bring its budget deficit below the bloc's limit of 3 percent of GDP. While avoiding a fine for now, Paris must now present new reform proposals.
In a rare move, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has pushed through controversial economic reforms meant to jumpstart the country's anemic economy. The opposition has threatened a no-confidence vote.
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