Reform Plan Roils French

300-point proposal dares to relax rules, strip protections
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2008 1:04 PM CST
Department stores like Galeries Lafayette in Paris would no longer be forced to observe strict schedules for sales.   ((c) markhillary)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – In his bid to shake up French society, Nicolas Sarkozy commissioned a leading Socialist to head a 40-member committee to "unleash the economic growth that France is lacking." Its report, to be released tomorrow, contains an explosive set of proposals. The 300 items range from constructing high-tech cities to relaxing regulations on retailers, professionals, and trade groups, reports the London Times.

Sarkozy promised to enact the group's proposals, but they challenge so many cherished protections that nearly everyone has something to complain about. Taxi drivers, pharmacists, veterinarians, and hairdressers are lining up to protest. Critics from both left and right denounced the leaked scheme; one called it "a precise and organized plan for ensuring the death of the French nation as we know it."