News - Tuesday, November 22nd

French government slashes unemployment benefits

In French news this morning, the government has released details of its planned reform to the unemployment system, which has already sparked protest from unions and leftist politicians.

The government said yesterday that jobseekers would see the amount of time they can claim benefits cut by 25 percent from next year as part of a contested reform designed to help fill vacant positions.

Under the current rules, anyone under the age of 53 can claim a maximum two years of compensation after losing their job, while the over-55s are eligible for three years.

By reducing the time by a quarter from February 2023, Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt said that he hoped that 100,000 150,000 people would return to the labour market earlier than expected next year.

 

Medicine shortages in France - which drugs are affected?

There is a growing shortage of several common medicaments in France, including the paracetamol Doliprane and the prescribed antibiotic amoxicillin.

Doliprane is widely taken for a variety of mild health problems such as headaches, joint pain, flu and period pain, while amoxicillin is the most-prescribed antibiotic for children suffering from illnesses including ear infections and sore throats.

In an interview this week, the Minister of Health, François Braun addressed the “reality” of the strain in medication supplies, saying that he expects stocks of paracetamol to return to normal in “coming weeks.”

However, the picture is a bit more complicated for the antibiotic amoxicillin, and an exact timeline is “difficult to predict” according to the minister. He hopes that the shortage of this drug will be resolved within at least the “coming weeks and months.”

 

New schoolgirl murder horrifies France

A 31-year-old man has been charged over the abduction and murder of a schoolgirl in France, just a month after the killing of a girl in Paris caused outrage.

The latest victim, a 14-year-old named Vannesa in French media, was snatched on her way home from school in the town of Tonneins last Friday in the rural Lot-et-Garonne region.

The killer, named as Romain Chevrel had spent the day smoking cannabis in his car. He confessed to raping and strangling her before dumping her body in an abandoned building

While in custody, he said he had not planned the crime and did not know the victim, adding that “his acts were sexually motivated”.

 

Summer Deaths Higher Than Expected

The French health authorities have announced an unusually high number of deaths in France this summer. Figures rel