By Sarah DiLorenzo – France’s parliament has passed a package of significant labor reforms Tuesday (may 14) that the government hopes will help halt rising unemployment and jumpstart the country’s stagnant economy.
One of the main measures of the bill allows companies to temporarily cut workers’ salaries or hours during times of economic difficulty. This measure takes its inspiration from Germany, where furloughs have been credited with allowing companies to weather difficult times without resorting to massive layoffs.
Several measures are also aimed at making it less daunting for employees to change jobs. French contracts are known for the tremendous protections they afford workers and as those benefits increase, the longer an employee stays with a company. While it is frequently noted that these contracts make employers reluctant to hire, they can also make employees more likely to stay put in stable jobs. When no one moves, it becomes harder for the unemployed to find work. more> http://tinyurl.com/a2r6w5d
Springtime in the Bay of Biscay
NASA – Springtime in the Bay of Biscay, off the coast of France, as in most places, is a season of abundant growth. On April 20, 2013, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image of the dynamic growth of a springtime phytoplankton bloom.
The swirling colors indicate the presence of vast numbers of phytoplankton – tiny plant-like microorganisms that live in both fresh and salt water. Although these organisms live year-round in the Bay of Biscay, it is only when conditions are right that explosive blooms occur. In spring, the lengthening sunlight, the increased nutrient load swept into the Bay from ocean currents and from snowmelt carried by freshwater rivers, combined with warming waters create the perfect conditions to spur phytoplankton in to tremendous growth. The result is a swirling, multi-hued discoloration that can be easily seen from space.
Each year, typically from March through April, such blooms occur in the Bay of Biscay. By May, however, conditions are not as favorable and the blooms fade, then disappear Image Credit: NASA GSFC
Reuters – France plans to implement a tax on financial transactions at the end of 2014 and believes the levy to be rolled out by 11 European countries will raise “tens of billions of euros” a year, its finance minister said.
The 27-member European Union gave the go-ahead on Tuesday to 11 countries pledging to impose a tax that was proposed 40 years ago by American economist James Tobin but never got off the ground internationally. more> http://tinyurl.com/ajb93tq
Posted in Banking, Business, Economy
Tagged Banking reform, European Union, Financial crisis, Financial transaction, France, Industrial economy, James Tobin, Super regions, Tax, United States
By Bruce Crumley – France celebrated the onset of 2013 in its uniquely pyromaniac fashion, with officials reporting that 1,193 cars were torched overnight from Dec. 31 to Jan. 1 — 209 of them in the Paris area alone.
Indeed, the rest of the world first took notice of France’s distinctive car-burning penchant during the three weeks of nationwide rioting in French housing projects in 2005, when 8,810 automobiles were incinerated by enraged youths. Yet, despite that riot-driven surge of car arson, year-end figures of around 43,000 for 2005 came in at around normal levels. Normal, that is, for flame-happy France. more> http://tinyurl.com/bdusys4