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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 18:42 GMT
French labour law row: Students' reaction
French students demonstrate in Paris

Tens of thousands of French students are protesting against a new jobs law that allows contracts for under-26s to be terminated without explanation within the first two years.

The BBC News website spoke to a number of students affected by or taking part in the protests over the law - know as the First Employment Contract (CPE).

VICTOR, 23, STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF PARIS 2, PANTHEON-ASSAS

I am demonstrating, along with thousands of my fellow students against this law.

I am fully opposed to this law because I simply disagree that it is okay to fire someone after two years on the job.

This is going to be a big problem for French youths who are joining the job market.

It will cause inequality between young and old, and I am obviously against that.

I leave university at the end of the year and this law puts added pressure on me now.

It means that when I do get a job I will basically have to work as hard as I can to keep it.

If I make any mistakes I could be fired immediately.

This will affect me severely, so I have taken to the streets.

DANOYL, ECONOMICS STUDENT, SORBONNE UNIVERSITY, PARIS

I stand by my friends and the French youth marching in the streets.

However, I cannot march myself for fear of losing my student visa.

Protesters clash with police during a student protest in Rennes
Some of the protests across France have turned violent
I am originally from Mauritius and I have worked hard enough to get here, without putting it all at risk by joining this march.

But I support those who are demonstrating.

France's youth will be in deep trouble due to the CPE, although it is theoretically a good means to try to cut unemployment figures.

However the greatest risk - beside sacking youngsters, whatever their qualification, with no motive whatsoever - is the obvious legitimacy it gives employers to abuse the labour market.

The government is simply protecting capitalist interests and selling out the youth of this country.

The students are simply protesting to secure their future.

CAMILLE RISI, TEACHING STUDENT, JUSSIEU UNIVERSITY, PARIS

I am really annoyed at the demonstrators for blocking access to the university for students like me for the past two weeks.

University is a place to study and I see studies as the safest way to find a job.

I understand the protesters disagree with the CPE, but I don't understand why they have to block the universities for other students.

It's their right to protest, but not at the expense of their fellow students.

I think CPE is just a pretext for some of them not to attend class and prevent the serious students from doing well.

I personally can see the advantages and disadvantages to the CPE.

On the one hand it can reduce unemployment, but on the other hand it may have serious consequences for some workers under 26 when they try to keep their jobs.

But I'm not feeling personally worried about the CPE.

I am confident of getting a job and keeping it when I leave university.




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