[JURIST] Protests continued at 32 of France's 84 universities Monday, despite separate announcements [JURIST report] from French President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin earlier in the day that the section of a recently-enacted law [JURIST document] on equality of opportunity establishing the so-called First Employment Contract (contrat premiere embauche, CPE) [JURIST news archive] would be "replaced." Rather than increasing the ease of firing employees under the age of 26, the replacement statute will include provisions to help young people find work. The demands of the students continuing to protest, however, include the withdrawal of a flexible work contract introduced last year and more job security. AFP has more.
French Trade Minister Christine Lagarde [official profile] meanwhile told reporters Monday that notwithstanding media interpretation the replacement of the law should not be viewed as a defeat for the government and that she supported continued debate in the matter. AFP has more.