Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Demonstrators, ahem, rioters, opposed to a new jobs law massed in downtown Paris Tuesday, threw rocks, tore down signs and ripped up park benches.
Tactical riot police fired tear gas, charged the crowds, and made some arrests. The police said one million people were demonstrating and rioting all around France. Leaders of the protest said it was more like three million. The Eiffel Tower was closed, and plane and train service was halted for the second time in a week.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin cooked up the despised "first job contract" in an attempt to jump start the economy and lessen youth unemployment. De Villepin claims it would encourage job growth hiring by allowing employers to fire workers under 26 during their first two years on a job without giving a reason. As it stands currently, it is extremely difficult to fire amyone in France, and when you do, you essentially have to pay them off.