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France’s government faces no-confidence vote over labour law

Employees, workers and students demonstrate in the Old-Port, in Marseille on Thursday, April 28, 2016 during a nationwide protest to reject a government reform relaxing the 35-hour working week and other labour rules.
Employees, workers and students demonstrate in the Old-Port, in Marseille on Thursday, April 28, 2016 during a nationwide protest to reject a government reform relaxing the 35-hour working week and other labour rules. AP Photo/Claude Paris

PARIS — France’s government is facing a major test as lawmakers hold a no-confidence vote, prompted by a deeply divisive labour law allowing longer workdays and easier layoffs.

Facing legislative gridlock and daily protests around the country, the Socialist government decided to force the bill through Parliament without a vote.

READ MORE: Tear gas, clashes mar French protests over labour law reforms

The conservative opposition objected, prompting a no-confidence vote Thursday. The legislation is not technically adopted unless the government survives that vote.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls and his government are likely to survive, but labour standoff has torn apart the Socialists and further damaged their chances at keeping the presidency in next year’s elections.

More street protests are planned May 12.

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