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Paris Demonstration Against New Youth Job Law Takes Violent Turn

Demonstrations in Paris against a new youth job law have taken a violent turn, with reports of a burning building, torched cars, smashed windows and stone throwing rioters.

Firefighters moved to put out the flames near a famous Parisian esplanade Invalides, as police clashed with demonstrators.

The violence comes as tens of thousands marched through Paris, Marseilles and other French cities to denounce the controversial new youth jobs law.

Earlier, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin invited unions to join him for talks Friday on the law, which allows companies to hire young workers for a two-year probationary period.

Opponents say bosses can fire young workers for no reason.

Unions leaders are meeting Thursday, to consider the prime minister's invitation.

The law has sparked a series of protests throughout France. Union and student leaders have called for a general strike for next Tuesday.

In a related development, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has called for a six-month trial period for the new law.

Mr. Sarkozy told Thursday's edition of the Paris Match magazine that a six-month experiment would be the wise thing and pull the nation out of a growing crisis.

Mr. Sarkozy, seen as a possible candidate for president, denied having plans to leave the government.