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France's Senate approves pro-business reform bill pushed by Socialist government

FILE - This Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 file photo shows French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron looking at reporters as he walks out the Elysee Palace following the first cabinet meeting of the year in Paris, France. France’s conservative-led Senate has approved a pro-business economic reform bill pushed by Socialist government despite a rebellion within its own ranks. Senators approved the bill on Tuesday by 185 votes against 44. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

FILE - This Monday, Jan. 5, 2015 file photo shows French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron looking at reporters as he walks out the Elysee Palace following the first cabinet meeting of the year in Paris, France. France‚Äôs conservative-led Senate has approved a pro-business economic reform bill pushed by Socialist government despite a rebellion within its own ranks. Senators approved the bill on Tuesday by 185 votes against 44. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)  (The Associated Press)

France's conservative-led Senate has approved a pro-business economic reform bill that the Socialist government has promoted despite a rebellion within its own ranks.

Senators approved the bill Tuesday by 185 votes to 44.

During the debate in the National Assembly, the lower house, in February, the government had had to invoke special powers to push through the reform without a vote to counter a rebellion from some Socialist parliamentarians.

The reform is now to be discussed by a commission composed of parliamentarians from both houses.

If they fail to find an agreement, the National Assembly has the final say. The government is allowed to use its special powers again.

The bill includes a patchwork of measures including allowing more stores to open on Sundays and evenings and reducing workplace protections.