A summary of what French newspapers have been saying about the CPE.
Taken from todays BBC European press review:
Todays Le Monde says Mr de Villepin failed to respond adequately to people's concerns when he defended the CPE in a television interview. "Dominique de Villepin wants to demonstrate his firmness and determination, but the arrogance... he showed on 12 March on TF1 had the effect of spreading the protests in universities."
The paper argues that experience shows that laws as controversial as this are unworkable and concludes that the government has little choice but to back down or, to save face, to rely on censure from the country's Constitutional Council.
Liberation says the prime minister risks a choice of interminable protests or a "belated U-turn" that would be "disastrous" for his image.
France's Le Figaro says protests against a labour reform which makes it easier to dismiss people under 26 during their first two years of employment have intensified.
Under the headline "Chirac commits himself as protests take hold", the paper says opposition to the First Employment Contract (CPE) spread to high schools as President Jacques Chirac backed Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on the issue.