Protests have erupted across the country in response to controversial new legislation introduced by the Socialist government. Young people argue the changes will negatively impact their futures.
An estimated 150,000 students rallied on Thursday against the government's proposed labor changes, which some young people say would negatively impact workers' rights.
The Socialist government of Francois Hollande wants the changes made in the hopes of boosting hiring. The proposed reforms would loosen the country's cemented 35-hour workweek so that companies could negotiate with individual employees to work outside of regularly scheduled hours.
Sensing dissatisfaction with the new legislation, the government withdrew some of the proposals, but the backlash hasn't subsided. More than 100 high schools were closed after student organizations called the protests.
The kids are not all right
"There's a whole bunch of measures that are harmful to the job market, youth, society as a whole and that's why we don't want it," said Maxence Termignon, a former engineering student in Paris.
Students like Termignon are hoping the government will scrap the reforms altogether. The controversy could be a major blow for Hollande, as he'll likely need the support of the younger, left-leaning demographic in order to win the presidency again in a little over a year.
blc/kms (AP, Reuters)