PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron faces his biggest test yet with Thursday’s release of a divisive pro-business labour reform that he hopes will secure his legacy and revolutionize the way the French work.
But the high-stakes move comes just as his popularity is sinking, and unions and political opponents have already called for street protests and strikes in what could be an unusually hot autumn.
It was the most emblematic campaign promise of Macron, elected in May on a centrist, pro-business platform. But opponents fear it will weaken hard-won worker protections that have become globally synonymous with the much-envied French lifestyle.
Foreign investors and France’s European neighbours are watching Macron’s plan closely — almost as closely as the French workers it will directly affect. France is the No. 2 economy in the eurozone, but its chronic 10-per cent unemployment has long weighed on the region’s growth.
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