PARIS, 18th January 2016 (WAM) — French President Francois Hollande has declared what he called “a state of economic emergency” and says it’s time to redefine France’s economic and social model, the Associated Press reported.

Hollande laid out a series of proposed economic measures Monday in an annual speech to business leaders to boost long-stagnant French growth and reduce chronic unemployment.

The first measures he proposed are relatively modest, and he said they would not “put into question” the 35-hour workweek.

He did not seek to assume any new emergency powers.

Hollande stressed the urgency of updating France’s labor-friendly business model in a fast-moving, increasingly globalized and online economy.

The measures included a loosening of some worker-friendly measures to encourage companies to hire, and new training for half a million workers.

WAM/MMYS WAM 1601 2016/01/18 END

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