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Home >> Sci-Edu
UPDATED: 07:41, March 14, 2006
Dozens of French universities affected by student protests: ministry
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The French Education Ministry said Monday that normal operations of dozens of universities were disrupted by students protesting the government's new job plan, or CPE.

Riot police in Paris used tear gas Monday afternoon to disperse groups of students who hurled stones and drink cans at the security forces as they tried to evict them at the College of France before calm returned late afternoon.

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said in a televised speech on Sunday that the law over the First Employment Contract ( CPE) would come into effect as planned, but he promised new " guarantees" over training and severance pay.

Aiming at solving unemployment that has been seen as one of the causes behind the November urban riots and removing the fear that they could be stuck with a costly long-term commitment if the worker proves unsuitable or if economic conditions deteriorate, the CPE suggests employers to hire young people under 26 under an open-ended two-year contract that can be terminated without explanation.

Opponents said that the contract will be used for cheap-rate labor sources and make it harder for young people to get long-term employment.

France has one of Europe's highest youth unemployment rates, with 23 percent of all young jobseekers out of work and some 40 percent in some of the poor high-immigration city suburbs.

Source: Xinhua

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