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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Le CPE définitivement rayé de la loi

by By Sébastien Crépel

French Senate Votes: The CPE is now Dead and Buried

Translated by Patrick Bolland

Translated Sunday 16 April 2006, by Patrick Bolland

Last night the French Senate confirmed the text adopted the previous day by the deputies of the National Assembly, completing the process of “replacing” the CPE. The Right distinguished itself by its hateful remarks.

All that’s left of the CPE - the first job contracts - is the scraps, stuck in the mouths of several UMP senators. Last night, they had no choice but to adopt, with the smell of death in their souls, the Bill already adopted the previous day by the National Assembly, replacing the CPE with a framework of integrating youth into the work-force. The UMP was in a particularly foul mood. Senators Braie and Fourcade fingered the “people who have solid jobs”, “the privileged”, “the most conservative union anywhere in the world”, etc. As for André Lardeux, he referred to “a France which has chosen unemployment” and “to humiliate the Parliament” (sic)!

To avoid any further shuttling between the Senate and National Assembly, UMP spokesman Alain Gournac called for a vote “confirming” the law proposal, ie, without any amendments to the Bill adopted in the National Assembly. The Senators would therefore vote on a definitive adoption of a text that would otherwise still await enactment.

Only the Left proposed any amendments. The Socialists and Communists, who called for the complete abrogation of the CPE and the CNE [a similar law adopted last August applying to companies with less than 20 employees], as well as opposing the introduction of apprenticeship schemes for 14 year-olds and night-shifts for minors, said they would vote against the proposition.

Roland Muzeau (Communist) attacked a “mish-mash of half-measures that all point in the same direction”, with “a few hundred million euros of public money that will be added to the billions employers are already receiving”. He thundered: “The ‘No’ to the CPE is a ‘No’ to the Blair-Sarkozy model, a ‘No’ to a society of social distress and social injustice”.

Jean-Pierre Bel, president of the Socialist Group, inflamed against a “convoluted abrogation” of the CPE, to be replaced with “vague measures without clear financing”.

The right-wing UDF, which had abstained on the adoption of the CPE announced, through the voice of Philippe Nogrix that the majority of his group would not be voting - a strategy that would hardly hinder the UMP, which has a majority in the Senate (but not in the National Assembly), from adopting the text.

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