France’s Macron tells global CEOs: we’re open for business

PARIS — France’s president is taking on the role of salesman in chief for his strike-battered country.

Emmanuel Macron used the splendor of the Palace of Versailles to woo international business leaders on Monday, insisting that his reforms are attracting investors despite six weeks of crippling protests and walkouts over his plan to overhaul the retirement system.

Driving home the message that the eurozone’s second-largest economy remains open for business, Macron’s government announced a 2 billion-euro ($2.2 billion) contract for the French shipyard of Saint-Nazaire on the Atlantic coast. It will build two cruise ships for the company MSC, representing some 2,400 jobs over three years. MSC confirmed plans to build other ships in France for another 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion).

“Good news doesn’t arrive out of nowhere. It comes because we are implementing reforms, because our country is moving, mobilizing,” Macron said. “I know that our heads are

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Bosnian protesters hold anti-pollution protest in Sarajevo

SARAJEVO, Bosnia — Dozens of people on Monday gathered for a protest in Sarajevo because of dangerously high levels of air pollution in the past few weeks in the Bosnian capital.

Some of the participants wore face masks at the rally Monday held outside the building hosting Sarajevo’s government.

Organizers say they want to encourage people into action and draw public attention to the decades-old problem typical for the city that is squeezed in a deep valley among the mountains.

Air pollution measurements in the past weeks have shown that levels of damaging airborne particles have exceeded European Union’s safety norms by several times.

Local authorities had introduced emergency measures for days last week, urging citizens not to use coal and wood for heating and banning diesel cars.

Local head of government Edin Forto told the protesters that the situation can’t change in a few months, but will take much

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Materials sector helps lift stocks in Toronto, loonie edges up against U.S.

TORONTO — The materials sector helped Canada’s main stock index march higher into record territory in late-morning trading.

The S&P/TSX composite index was up 39.42 points at 17,598.44

U.S. stock markets are closed due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

The Canadian dollar traded for 76.58 cents US compared with an average of 76.56 cents US on Friday.

The March crude contract was up six cents at US$58.64 per barrel and the February natural gas contract was down 9.1 cents at US$1.91 per mmBTU.

The February gold contract was up 60 cents at US$1,560.90 an ounce and the March copper contract was down 0.3 of a cent at US$2.84 a pound.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X)

 

The Canadian Press

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