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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2007, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Sarkozy 'loosening' 35-hour week
French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Mr Sarkozy was addressing the employers' organisation Medef
France's President Nicolas Sarkozy says he wants to go "much further in loosening up the 35-hour" working week.

Mr Sarkozy also said he wanted to tighten up competition between firms to make consumer prices fall.

In a speech to the employers' organisation Medef, he said he was not planning to sit around waiting for international growth to improve.

Mr Sarkozy said a global economic slowdown would only encourage him to do more to make the economy competitive.


"You will see that by rolling up our sleeves, with a bit of courage, will and a bit of passion, with the talent and intelligence of the French people, we will create growth," he said.

Mr Sarkozy was elected in June on a platform of economic reform and has been working at a furious pace to push through new legislation since then.

He has already managed to make extra hours worked beyond the 35-hour week exempt from social charges, brought in a 50% ceiling on income tax rates and all but abolished inheritance tax.

He even managed to pass a bill to guarantee a minimum level of service during public transport strikes with only limited opposition.

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