Paris Bans Foreign Languages At Construction Sites To Protect Local Workers

REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The Paris region passed a law Thursday that bans foreign languages at construction sites to stop foreign labor.

The “Small Business Act” wants to promote more public contracts for local businesses in the Ile de France region, which includes Paris. It includes a clause that makes it mandatory to use French as the working language at publicly-funded building projects.

“This clause is necessary and targets foreign companies who come with their teams, without any of them speaking French,” Jerome Chartier, the region’s vice president, told AFP. “These companies need to improve.”

Several French regions have already imposed similar language restrictions to promote local labor.

France and other Western countries have criticized the European Union for allowing companies to hire cheap seasonal workers from Eastern Europe. Companies are not allowed to discriminate against foreign companies based on their nationalities, according to EU regulations.

Conservative candidate Francois Fillon is considering a national ban on foreign languages at building sites if elected president in May.

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