France's Macron says "posted worker" rules betray European Union spirit

Ausiliatrice Cristiano
Agosto 24, 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday decried European rules allowing firms in low-wage countries to post workers elsewhere as a "betrayal" of the European spirit, seeking to overcome eastern European resistance to curbing the practice.

The prime ministers of Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia and the president of France said at a joint news conference after a meeting in Salzburg on Wednesday that the European Union should find agreement by October on the form of a directive on so-called posted workers.

He and Kern were due to meet the prime ministers of the Czech Republic and Slovakia - two lower-wage eastern countries - later on Wednesday.

Macron's visit to Greece will come after a three-day tour of central and eastern Europe this week as well as a meeting with the leaders of Germany, Italy and Spain next week.

"The posted workers' directive as it now functions is a betrayal of the European spirit in its essence", Macron said.

The French leader is set to raise concerns over so-called "posted workers" - those who are temporarily posted overseas by companies in their home countries - as he makes his first visit to the region.

But the other two Visegrad states - Poland and Hungary - have often taken a harder line, prompting Macron to accuse them of spurning European values.

He also said France and Austria shared the same views on the need to harmonize fiscal rules, build up a common European investment capacity and a euro zone budget that would be voted through by a euro zone parliament.

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