FRANCE, UNEMPLOYMENT ‘For decades, the spirit of Karl Marx and his inheritors has hovered over thinking about French labour reform. In 2000, when the Socialist government of Lionel Jospin introduced the 35-hour working week, the underlying idea was to share out existing work and create more jobs. Martine Aubry, the labour minister at the time, described the shorter week as a “project of solidarity towards the unemployed”. By working less, the benevolent French were to hand on their remaining tasks to the jobless, in line with Trotsky’s call for “all the work on hand” to “be divided among all existing workers”. Yet, despite the public subsidy, France’s unemployment rate has remained unacceptably high. At 9.5%, it is more than twice that in Germany, and has not dipped below 7% since 1980. The jobless rate for the under-25s is over 20%,’ (Charlemagne – Exorcising French demons,’ The Economist 09th 2017, p24).