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French Senate Approves Revised Youth Jobs Plan


France's upper house of parliament has approved a youth jobs plan to replace a controversial measure that triggered weeks of nationwide protests.

The Senate voted 158-123 in favor of the new bill, a day after the lower house of parliament approved it. The measure now goes to President Jacques Chirac, who is expected to sign it.

The bill includes financial aid to employers who hire disadvantaged youths. The original plan would have allowed employers to hire young workers for a two-year probationary period and to dismiss them without giving a reason. Opponents said this would undermine job security.

France has one of Europe's highest rates of unemployment at about 10 percent. The rate is 22 percent for workers under the age of 26.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.