France: Chirac to sign youth employment law

Not a surprise.

Also not terribly relevant, legally. The French president has no veto. While his failure to sign it would have been symbolically and poltically significant, parliament would have been within its rights to promulgate the very same bill even if Chirac had demurred.

And, given that Chirac’s party has a majority, and that it is, um, The Union for a Presidential Majority, one might conclude that the incumbent president and the current National Assembly majority tend to have somewhat similar preferences.

What I do not follow in the above-linked BBC story is this:

Mr Chirac promised to modify two of the law’s most controversial clauses.

A French version of the signing statement? The story goes on to describe a couple of substantive provisions. But, procedurally, how can he modify the bill? Presumably with ordinances needed to implement it. Lots of French laws are vague and leave plenty of room for executive implementation; in fact, the French constitution, unlike the American one, explicitly sets the policy-making process up that way. Those ordinances technically must come from the cabinet, not the president. But, in France, the cabinet is whatever the National Assembly wants it to be, and we’ve already been over that Presidential Majority thing.

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