French leader Macron launches 2nd round of reform program

French President Emmanuel Macron launched round two of his ambitious domestic reform program on Wednesday, AFP said. The plans include major changes to France’s generous unemployment benefits system, as well as large increases in state-funded training aimed at helping the unemployed back into the workplace. Macron is hoping to avoid an escalation in street protests against him which began in early September. “It was polite but firm,” the head of the Communist-backed CGT trade union, Philippe Martinez, said after talks with Macron on Thursday. Macron is expected to deploy the same plan used to push through the labor law reform: negotiations over the next few months culminating in a set of government proposals.