French parliament set to approve SNCF reform in boon for Macron
PARIS: France’s parliament will approve a bill on Wednesday overhauling the indebted state-run rail company SNCF, handing a significant victory to President Emmanuel Macron in his bid to outwit the unions and reform the economy.
The vote in the National Assembly, where Macron’s Republique En Marche party has an absolute majority, is largely a formality after a committee of the lower house of parliament and the Senate agreed joint amendments to the legislation on Monday.
The Senate upper house will approve the bill on Thursday.
It represents the most fundamental reform of the 150,000-strong SNCF since rail nationalization in the 1930s. Dismissed by some as an unreformable entity, Macron has taken on a challenge that defeated previous administrations.
Conservative Prime Minister Alain Juppe had to withdraw welfare reforms in 1995 after weeks of strikes and social unrest led by rail workers.