Shops around the Sorbonne University have been deprived of customers and income for over two weeks as a result of government restrictions on access to the area following recent student protests against new labour laws. Some have been forced to temporarily dismiss staff as a result. The mayor of Paris, Bernard Delano, has appealed to the prime minister to provide financial assistance to shop-owners who have had their property damaged during the demonstrations and to those whose business has seen a drop in turnover. Students and unions are protesting against the new legislation which introduces flexible hire-and-fire laws into first-time contracts.