PARIS – Key events in France's crisis over the new labor law:
— May 31, 2005: French President Jacques Chirac appoints loyalist Dominique de Villepin as prime minister.
— Aug. 2, 2005: Villepin's conservative government approves a hotly contested measure aimed at boosting employment by allowing small firms to fire employees easily within the first two years on a job.
— Oct. 27, 2005: Accidental electrocution deaths of two teens sparks riots in poor Paris neighborhoods that spread to major cities. Youths torch thousands of cars and some public buildings. Riots last three weeks.
— Jan. 16: Villepin announces a new job law that aims to reduce France's high youth unemployment rate — 23 percent nationwide and as much as twice that in the riot-wracked poor neighborhoods. It allows employers to fire 18- to 25-year-olds without reason for up to two years after hiring.
— Jan. 31: Student groups and labor unions stage first demonstrations against the new law. Thousands march in Paris and other cities.
— Feb. 9: Villepin pushes the legislation through parliament's lower house by invoking a rarely used rule that allows the majority to bypass floor debate.
— March 9: Both houses of parliament give law final approval.
— March 11: Riot police raid the Sorbonne University, ousting some 200 student protesters. Students shower chairs and ladders onto police officers.
— March 18: At least a half-million people march in a nationwide demonstration against the job law. The Paris march ends in violence that leaves one demonstrator in a coma.
— March 23: Rioters mixed in with demonstrators turn a park in front of Napoleon's tomb into a battlefield in the most widespread violence linked to the protests.
— March 24: Villepin and union leaders hold their first talks on the law. No breakthrough.
— March 28: More than 1 million demonstrators pour onto streets. Strikers shut down Eiffel Tower, disrupt train, plane, subway and bus services.
— March 30: France's Constitutional Council rules that contract is constitutional.
— March 31: Chirac says he will enact the law but seek to modify it.