The landslide election of centrist pro-EU Emmanuel Macron in May buoyed the euro and allowed markets to breathe a sigh of relief that France’s most unpredictable election in modern memory was over. Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen was soundly defeated, and 39-year-old former investment banker Mr Macron, leader of the nascent La République en Marche (LREM) party, was swept into the Élysée Palace on the promise of a stronger EU, labour reforms and a commitment to globalism.
Chairman Michael Sippitt comments on the labour reform struggles.
“Getting labour reforms through in France is never easy, but the strongest union in the private sector is moderate and union reaction may prove less of an obstacle than in the past. As the UK has learned long ago, serious economic improvement generally needs a limit on the disruptive power of trade unions, while preserving their role and voice in shaping policy as far as possible.”
Reforms may also focus on how to exploit Brexit by taking business from London in the financial sector, Mr Sippitt adds – and this has historically been hindered, of course, by France’s rigid regulations.