Despite an ailing growth and grim economic prospects, French President Francois Hollande on Monday reiterated his promise to create 100,000 of the government-sponsored jobs for the youth, a cornerstone of the Socialists' plan to tackle an alarming unemployment rate.
In a visit to Bretagne, northwestern France, Hollande attended the signing of five agreements of "jobs for the future" focusing in recruiting the poorly qualified young workers from disadvantaged suburbs and rural areas in mainly public sector.
"We are now at 33,000 jobs of the future... that is to say that we are just when we wanted to be when we decided to create 33,000 for the beginning of July," Hollande said.
"Therefore, there had been no delay. The plan is running as expected to reach 100,000 jobs of the future by the end of 2013," the president added.
With the unemployment hit a record high to more than 3.2 million jobseekers, Hollande launched a "great battle" to bring down the double digit rate in December via state-financed job contracts and stimulus to improve competitiveness.
His scheme will cost 2.3 billion euros (2.99 billion U.S. dollars) to be compensated by removing tax exemptions from taxes on overtime work. (1 euro = 1.303 U.S. dollar)