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France

This category contains 144 posts

How the EU’s budget straight jacket was born

In May 1981 in less than an hour Guy Abeille, then senior official of France’s Budget Directorate, invented the EU’s infamous deficit-to-GDP figure of 3 %. And the European austerity fest was born. Guy Abeille is known as “Monsieur 3%” . He’s the inventor of a concept signed up to and repeated ad nauseam by … Continue reading

Thousands protest in Paris against austerity

Led by several parties of the radical left, the protesters sent a message to President Francois Hollande that they had ‘enough’ of austerity and that it was time for a change in policy. Thousands of people protested in Paris on Saturday calling for a change in the austerity policies of President Francois Hollande. The Left … Continue reading

Valls as France’s new PM is poor casting – but that’s not the worst of it

By Jacques Sapir After what can only be called one of the worst defeats suffered by a “Left government” in local elections, a defeat that saw cities won by the Socialists over 100 years ago pass into the hands of the Right (Limoges), French President François Hollande has decided to thank the Prime Minister, Jean- … Continue reading

Left of Socialist Party calls on Hollande to dump austerity after local election defeat

“The Government cannot remain deaf to the message of the voters. Nothing would be worse than to underestimate the extent of the defeat. Nothing could be more dangerous than to err in analyzing the causes. The problem is not ‘methodological’, it is political. The central issue is a rejection of austerity. This is not about … Continue reading

France local elections: disappointment with Hollande and abstention help Le Pen

Pietro Lunetto offers an analysis of Sunday’s elections and argues that despite the headlines, the Left vote held up overall. The result of the first round of the French administrative has sparked the reaction, often lazy, of the mainstream press, which prefers headlines to detailed analysis of the situation. From the results of the first round, … Continue reading

Fast Facts: Gender Social Inequality and Austerity in Europe

Europe’s austerity fetish and longer term neo-liberal reforms promoted by Big Business, Governments and the EU Commission hurt women disproportionately. Here’s a few facts to illustrate the point.   Europe wide  The gender pay gap is around 16% It ranges from more than a quarter (27%) in Estonia to around a fiftieth (2%) in Slovenia. … Continue reading

Montebourg, the Euro and the Taliban in Brussels

As France passes a new law governing the closure of profitable plants – deemed too dirigiste by employers and too laissez faire by unions – economist Jacques Sapir gives his assessment on the best way to save French industry  The French National Assembly has adopted the so-called “Florange law’ , which seeks to avoid a repeat … Continue reading

France’s culture workers protest cuts

Performing artists turned out on Monday in Paris and in several other cities in France to protest budget cuts that threaten the future of many theatre companies and other cultural establishments, as well as access to culture from disadvantaged groups in society, Humanite newspaper reports . “We’re a thousand this afternoon in Paris. There were 100 this … Continue reading

On President Hollande’s New Year bomb

IN THE RADICAL PRESS / HUMANITE  By Patrick Apel -Muller François Hollande’s New Year message  did not mark a political turning point, which came just a few months after his election, but it expressed his right turn without any attempt at camoflauge. Priority is to be given to the demands of big business, austerity for … Continue reading

A Gathering Storm: Eurozone in 2014

Is Europe’s single currency bloc stabilising? Behind the current picture of calm storm clouds are gathering, says French economist Jacques Sapir, in this recent interview with Greek newspaper Kefalaio (Capital) Kefalaio: What is your reaction to the image of stability in the Eurozone promoted by European leaders? What are the possible ruptures (eg in the case … Continue reading

France’s tax revolt

France is in revolt over tax. In recent weeks the protagonists have ranged from drivers of heavy goods vehicles, wealthy cereal farmers, even the equestrian lobby.  And, almost everybody in the depressed north western region of Brittany, it seems. The narrative is that Socialist France is ‘over-taxed’. As soon as he was elected President 18 months … Continue reading

France’s Front National brand detox is going nowhere

France’s far right Front National (FN) has been rising in the opinion polls of late – one showing that one in four French voters would back the party in next spring’s European elections. As part of her bid to capitalise on disillusionment with Socialist President Francois Hollande’s broken promises to reverse austerity and deliver jobs and growth, … Continue reading

Unions bid to reclaim Brittany from the bosses

They do not wear red caps. However, the profile of cereal farmers who marched Thursday in Paris, perched on their tractors, resembles nothing more than the leaders of the revolt against the ‘environmental tax’ in Brittany. Rich farmers, from Beauce in particular, demonstrated to defend their privileges and to continue to receive 80% of Common … Continue reading

Manufacturing consent: Economic thought control in France

From time to time, the question is understandably posed, why if austerity and neo-liberal policies are so patently failing in Europe, has there not been more of a challenge to them. Well one simple answer lies with economists, the experts who ought to know if the policies of cuts, deregulation, privatisation and so on, are … Continue reading

What now for Francois Hollande?

By Jacques Sapir The French government has just been forced into two setbacks – on the retroactive tax on savings accounts and the environmental tax. These two measures have crystallized a latent discontent, and the retreat on the environmental tax is particularly symbolic. This is all happening in seriously depleted political conditions. But the decision to postpone the … Continue reading

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