The French continue to discover the power of incentives:
PARIS, June 6, 2006 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin unveiled proposals Tuesday aimed at boosting employment among older workers, notably via the creation of a new medium-term jobs contract.
Available to unemployed over 57 year-olds, the 'Senior Fixed-Term Contract' would last 18 months and be one-time renewable.
...."We cannot accept the fact that some of our fellow citizens cannot find employment because of their age. Older people are an opportunity for our country," Villepin told a meeting of government officials, academics, employers and unions.
....However two large unions — CGT and FO — remain opposed to the measures, especially a provision to phase out a tax on companies that fire workers over 50 years old.
The government argues that the tax discourages firms from hiring such employees.
Other provisions — which are to be approved by the cabinet later this month before going before parliament — include financial incentives for people to keep working beyond their official retirement age.
The target is to increase employment among 55-64 year-olds from 37 percent at present to 50 percent in 2010.