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France's Macron optimistic on European Union accord on 'posted workers'

France's Macron optimistic on European Union accord on 'posted workers'

Nationalists, like his rival Marine Le Pen of the National Front (FN), accuse the European Union of fostering unfair competition to the detriment of French workers.

"We've firmly expressed our will to find a real compromise in October", Macron said at a press conference.

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.

"It is very important to avoid useless simplification in this area", Iohannis said. The Laval case concerned Latvian workers posted to building sites in Sweden, and the Finnish ferry company Viking Line got backing for its hiring of Estonians.

On Wednesday, Macron won the backing of Slovakia and the Czech Republic, scoring a symbolic victory over the eurosceptic governments of Poland and Hungary which have led efforts in the region to block reform of the labour directive.

Macron agreed to visit Romania at the European Council meeting on June 23, when Iohannis invited him to Bucharest.

Failure to reform the European Union would threaten the bloc's future, he said.

Last year, the European Commission proposed amendments to the Posted Workers Directive that it said would "ensure a level playing field", according to DPA.




Macron's election win revived the EU's Franco-German axis but in central and eastern Europe it fanned fears of a "multi-speed" Europe that could mean reduced influence, financial support and economic competitiveness.

Posting workers is especially common in the construction and manufacturing industries.

Also on Wednesday, European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic said in Bratislava that a Europe-wide agreement on the posting of workers overseas should be hashed out by October.

Some leaders have made clear they don't want to be left out.

He says the system creates unfair competition in wealthier nations like France and Austria, a country that borders four eastern European countries and where on Wednesday he met Chancellor Christian Kern, an ally on this issue.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico acknowledged that finding a solution would be "good news for the EU".

He now says he wants Slovakia's future to lie "close to the (EU) core, close to France, close to Germany".

Mr Macron is on a European tour aimed at rallying support for reform, but Poland and Hungary suspect French protectionism which, they fear, would undermine the EU's freedom of labour principle. The four countries make up the Visegrad 4 group. If it is given a green light, the directive will be a subject of debate in the European Parliament.

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