Europe

The Latest: French centrist promises to simplify labor law

  • French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, left, visits the Rungis wholesale food market, south of Paris, Tuesday April 18, 2017. Macron, an independent centrist with pro-business, pro-European views, is among the front-runners in France's unpredictable presidential race. The top two vote-getters in the first round Sunday will advance to the May 7 presidential runoff. (Philippe Wojazer; Pool via AP)

    French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, left, visits the Rungis wholesale food market, south of Paris, Tuesday April 18, 2017. Macron, an independent centrist with pro-business, pro-European views, is among the front-runners in France's unpredictable presidential race. The top two vote-getters in the first round Sunday will advance to the May 7 presidential runoff. (Philippe Wojazer; Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, right, visits the meat pavilion at the Rungis wholesale food market, south of Paris, Tuesday April 18, 2017. Macron, an independent centrist with pro-business, pro-European views, is among the front-runners in France's unpredictable presidential race. The top two vote-getters in the first round Sunday will advance to the May 7 presidential runoff. (Philippe Wojazer; Pool via AP)

    French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, right, visits the meat pavilion at the Rungis wholesale food market, south of Paris, Tuesday April 18, 2017. Macron, an independent centrist with pro-business, pro-European views, is among the front-runners in France's unpredictable presidential race. The top two vote-getters in the first round Sunday will advance to the May 7 presidential runoff. (Philippe Wojazer; Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, second left, talks with butchers as he visits the meat pavilIon at the Rungis wholesale food market, south of Paris, Tuesday April 18, 2017. Macron, an independent centrist with pro-business, pro-European views, is among the front-runners in France's unpredictable presidential race. The top two vote-getters in the first round Sunday will advance to the May 7 presidential runoff. (Philippe Wojazer; Pool via AP)

    French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron, second left, talks with butchers as he visits the meat pavilIon at the Rungis wholesale food market, south of Paris, Tuesday April 18, 2017. Macron, an independent centrist with pro-business, pro-European views, is among the front-runners in France's unpredictable presidential race. The top two vote-getters in the first round Sunday will advance to the May 7 presidential runoff. (Philippe Wojazer; Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the upcoming French presidential election (all times local):

11:30 a.m.

French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron says he will simplify the country's famously complex labor laws within weeks of taking office.

In comments at the Rungis wholesale market outside Paris, Macron says that it's not a question of taking rights away from workers, but of lowering the 10-percent unemployment rate that has plagued France for years.

Macron, who has never held elected office, is running without the backing of an established party and claims to be neither of the right nor the left.

The pre-dawn market is a regular campaign stop for French politicians looking to show solidarity with workers, who rise before the sun to feed the Paris region.

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10:55 a.m.

French far right candidate Marine Le Pen is promising a freeze on long-term visas as soon as she takes office, followed by a tax on any company that hires foreign workers.

Ahead of Sunday's first-round election, Le Pen told RTL radio on Tuesday she would issue an order to immediately stop issuing long-term visas for two weeks so the government can verify that they are not taking jobs away from French citizens.

Le Pen, who has campaigned against immigration and Europe's open borders, also wants to impose a 10 percent tax on labor contracts that go to foreigners and seize back control of French borders.

Polls show Le Pen is among four leading French candidates, with no clear front-runner. The top two candidates advance to a May 7 runoff.