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© REMI OCHLIK/IP3; PARIS, FRANCE LE 16/05/2006 - ASSEMBLEE NATIONALE : MOTION DE CENSURE DE LA NICHE PS : PROPOSITION DE LOI VISANT A L ABROGATION DU CPE ET DU CNE - DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN..The contrat premiere embauche (CPE), translated first employment contract, was a new form of employment contract pushed in spring 2006 in France by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin. This employment contract, available solely to employees under 26, would have made it easier for the employer to fire employees by removing the need to provide reasons for dismissal for an initial "trial period" of two years, in exchange for some financial guarantees for employees. ....The law has met heavy resistance from students, trade unions, and left-wing activists, sparking protests in February and March 2006 (and continuing into April) with hundreds of thousands of participants in over 180 cities and towns across France