French employer's group chief wants 'emergency' plan on unemployment

Unemployment rate rose to 10.6 per cent in the third quarter
||Last Updated: 12/08/2015

PARIS (Reuters) — France's employers' group chief called on the government on Tuesday to take emergency measures to tackle rising unemployment, just as it did to fight terrorism after the Paris attacks last month.

"Unemployment is the most severe problem. Massive unemployment has not been addressed. You saw the terrorist attacks. There has been an emergency plan ... We need to do the same on French unemployment," Pierre Gattaz told RTL radio.

France's unemployment rate rose to 10.6 per cent in the third quarter, its highest quarterly rate since 1997 and up from a revised 10.4 per cent in the previous quarter, data published by the INSEE national statistics office last week showed.

Gattaz, who had warned voters against backing the far-right in the French regional elections last week, reiterated on Tuesday his opposition to the economic agenda of Marine Le Pen's National Front (FN) party.

"When I see the economic agenda of the National Front, proposing 60 as a retirement age, increasing wages ... I wonder who will pay?" he said. "In the end it will be the companies who are already burdened by tax pressure."

Boosted by fears over the Isamic State attacks that killed 130 people in Paris on Nov. 13, the National Front secured 27.7 per cent of the vote nationally on Sunday in the first round of a regional election.

It came first in six of 13 regions in Sunday's vote, its best ever showing.

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