Macron Aims to Save $3.9 Billion in Welfare Reform, AFP Reports

(Bloomberg) -- French President Emmanuel Macron’s government is targeting savings of €3.6 billion ($3.9 billion) from his planned reforms to unemployment insurance, Agence France-Presse reported.

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It also aims to get an additional 90,000 people into work, AFP said on Wednesday, citing the Labor Ministry.

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal will make a series of announcements on Sunday about the reforms and has asked Labor Minister Catherine Vautrin to hold talks with union and business representatives, according to a statement from his office.

Macron has centered his leadership of France on economic policies designed to overcome decades of weak growth and has made tackling unemployment a yardstick for measuring the success of his presidency. Yet the country’s jobless rate has been creeping up in the last 12 months after touching around a four-decade low.

The announcement of welfare cuts will come two weeks ahead of European Parliament elections in which polls indicate the far-right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen is set to win by a large margin. She has been a vocal critic of Macron’s labor reforms, which she says penalize workers.

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