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Macron launches second phase of France labour reforms

Emmanuel Macron is launching the second part of his campaign to rethink France's labour laws, focusing on unemployment benefits and job training.

The president was meeting the country's main workers' and employers' unions on Thursday to start negotiations which are expected to last for months.

The discussions come as workers are still protesting over labour measures signed by Mr Macron last month, aimed at making it easier for firms to hire and fire.

The government now wants to extend unemployment benefits to independent entrepreneurs, farmers and merchants who go bankrupt.

Employees who voluntarily quit would also be entitled to unemployment benefits under strict conditions, to encourage workers to change jobs more easily.

The government also wants to reform the way the benefits are financed and help unemployed people acquire new skills needed in a rapidly changing global economy.

AP

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