Germany's Merkel backs French reforms, says patience needed

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel is offering support for the French government's agenda of economic reforms. She's acknowledging that reforms aren't always easy to conduct and can take time to show results.

President Emmanuel Macron wants to boost the economy by changing France's rigid labor rules to make it easier to hire and fire workers. He is facing resistance from unions and has seen his popularity fall.

Merkel said after meeting French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Friday that the reform plan "is an important one that will ultimately produce good results for people in France — even if we know from our own experience that the results do not come immediately but are somewhat delayed."

Merkel's predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, launched a shake-up of Germany's labor and welfare systems in 2003.