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France

French press review 8 March 2016

media DR

It's a new day, but that doesn't mean the French newspapers aren't talking about the same subjects. It's still all about the refugee crisis and the controversial labour law reform this morning. Plus, L'Huma and Le Monde take a look at the International Women's day.

Libération devotes its front page to the proposed labour law reform and wonders what the other European countries are doing on the issue.

One of the goals of the reform is to introduce more flexibility for companies, especially when firing employees.

Similar reforms have been introduced in the past few years in several European countries, such as Spain, Italy and Portugal, which is why Libé decided to look at their effects there.

And in most cases, it is true that those reforms have had a positive effect on unemploymeny - in just two years, it went from 25% to 20% in Spain.

But there's a price to pay for this says the left-wing paper: in the case of Italy and Spain, those reforms meant precarity and insecurity for workers.

Despite that, the paper's editorial says it is actually in favour of the proposed reform - if it is improved to protect the rights of workers of course.

Le Figaro reports on the ongoing European migrant crisis.The paper reports on last night's summit in Brussels between the European Union and Turkey.

Even though no agreements where reached, Ankara has agreed to take back illegal migrants landing in Greece in exchange for extra funding.

But the right-wing daily seems to be happy -they are even celebrating it- the closure of the so called Balkan road. "The back door must be closed for good, it's the basic condition for an official door to open" says an editorial.

"It would make sense to go check on the borders of Syria who can be granted the refugee status and ensure successful applicants a safe journey to a host country that they do not have to choose," it continues.

 Le Figaro goes all out against Angela Merkel, once hailed as Europe's savior by the daily. "No one can count on the good sense of Merkel" it says.

Lef-wing L'Humanité has a special issue for International Women's day.The daily asked nine women to be its editors in chief for the day.

There's a union member, a politician, a director. All of them got to pick the paper's main subjects of the day.One of them is an interesting analysis of the government's policy towards women's rights.

"The last four years have been a long list of renuciations" says L'Huma.

The most striking example of that is probably the fact that we went from a Ministry of Women's Rights in 2012, to a Junior Ministry for Women's Rights and Families. "It feels like we went back to the 1970's" concludes L'Humanité.

While we are on the topic of women's rights, Le Monde says the working conditions of women haven't improved in the last 20 years. The centre-left newspaper reports on a study published by the International Labour Organisation.

There's several interesting numbers there.

At the global level, the employment gender gap has closed by only 0.6 percentage points since 1995, with an employment-to-population ratio of 46 per cent for women.

"Women are still the first victims of underemployment, insecurity, are over-represented in the informal economy, less paid, less protected socially" writes Le Monde.In short "women are confronted with a situation of general inequality on all continents".

There's still a lot of work to be done on this subject.

"In developing countries, when a woman works an average of 9h20 a day, she's paid only for 5h10 of work. A man works on average 8h07 and is paid for 6h40" explains the paper.

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