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Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:42PM
State employment agency in Paris, France. (file photo)

State employment agency in Paris, France. (file photo)

A jobless French man has died after setting himself on fire in front of the state employment agency in the western city of Nantes, police officials said. The man, who suffered from financial problems, died on Wednesday after being told he was ineligible for unemployment benefits. Reports say that the man had informed the journalists of his decision, warning he would set himself on fire this week. In August, another jobless man, aged 51, also died of self-immolation in the French capital of Paris. The number of jobless people in France has risen for the past 20 months, with economic analysts believing the rate would soon reach the record high set in 1997 of 3.2 million. In December 2012, Government official unemployment figures showed that 3.13 million people were registered in the country’s jobless program in November, a rise of 29,300 compared to October. The French unemployment rate has increased since President Francois Hollande took office in May 2012, despite his promises to create 100,000 new jobs per year. Europe plunged into a financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries. SAB/JR
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