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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Balladur Backs Down

The French government scrapped a disputed youth wage law Wednesday and replaced it with a subsidy to companies which recruited young people, Prime Minister Edouard Balladur announced.

Street protests by hundreds of thousands of students in cities nationwide had greeted the law, which allowed employers to pay young people less than the minimum wage while they were on short-term training contracts.

"It has been decided to give employers an incentive to anticipate the emerging economic recovery and give young people their first job," a statement from Balladur's office said, adding that a subsidy of 1,000 francs ($200) a month would be paid for the first nine months to any company which gave a young first-time worker a job for at least 18 months. The amount would be doubled for any young person employed before Oct. 1.