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
France's Senate election appears to have handed the far-right National Front entry for the first time, with 2 seats. Meanwhile, the conservatives claim a Senate majority over President Francois Hollande's socialists.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has praised France's "ambitious" reforms program following talks with French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Merkel said adherence to the European stability and growth pact remained key.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls' visit to Germany isn't an easy one given that Franco-German relations are strained to say the least. Ulrike Guerot calls for more understanding from Berlin.
France's public debt has shot up to just over 2 trillion euros ($2.5 trillion) for the first time, according to official figures for the second quarter. National debt now stands at 95.1 percent of GDP.
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