Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Capital Business
Capital Business
French president Francois Hollande/AFP

World

Hollande measures ‘right direction’ for French economy

French president Francois Hollande gives a press conference to present his 2014 policy plans, on January 14, 2014 at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris/AFP

French president Francois Hollande gives a press conference to present his 2014 policy plans, on January 14, 2014 at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris/AFP

BRUSSELS, Jan 15 – Measures announced by French President Francois Hollande to cut public spending and business costs go “in the right direction” and will help the economy, the European Commission said Wednesday.

The steps “are in line with recommendations we made last year they will boost competitiveness and have a positive effect on growth and jobs in France,” Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly said.

“We share (President Hollande’s) position that substantial savings have to be found we are happy to see these measures going in the right direction,” Bailly said.

The French economy, the eurozone’s second largest, has struggled for many years, growing more slowly than its EU peers, especially Germany, with its problems blamed on too large a role for the state and a hugely costly social welfare system.

On Tuesday, Hollande unveiled plans to cut public spending by 50 billion euros ($68 billion) in the 2015-17 period and reduce corporate payroll charges by 30 billion euros.

Hollande said this was a “social democratic” programme to restore growth and so ensure France retained its global influence.

He insisted the cuts would allow France to maintain its much vaunted but increasingly criticised social welfare system, while business would benefit from lower labour charges and less red tape.

Bailly said the Commission would look at the proposals in detail and take them into account when making its next economic forecasts.

There was no advance discussion with Paris ahead of the announcement, he said in reply to a question, and stressed that it is up to national governments to set specific targets.

Figures last month showed the French economy shrank 0.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013, falling back again after growth of 0.6 percent in the second three months of the year.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Other data has seen France lag behind its peers in a modest recovery from a record eurozone recession.

An EU report card in November ranked France among member states “experiencing macroeconomic imbalances which require monitoring and decisive policy action.”

It cited specifically a decline in competitiveness and fall in export market share as high business costs hurt investment and jobs, coupled with rising public debt.

Click to comment
Advertisement

More on Capital Business

Executive Lifestyle

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The country’s super wealthy individuals are increasing their holding of bonds, gold and cash, a new report by Knight...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 9 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi has urged members of the public to exercise extreme caution when making any...

Ask Kirubi

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – Businessman and industrialist Dr. Chris Kirubi is set to own half of Centum Investment Company PLC, following a go-ahead...

Ask Kirubi

It is without a doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caught the whole world by surprise. Although its full impact is yet to be...

Headlines

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – Commercial Banks have been ordered to provide relief to borrowers on their personal loans, with loans eligible from March...

Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun17 – Kenya’s tea leaves manufacturer Kericho Gold, has been awarded the Superbrands Seal by Superbrands East Africa for their quality variety...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – As the local telecommunications industry gears up to roll out 5G networks in the country, the Communications Authority of...

Coronavirus

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – Airtel Kenya is offering free internet access for students in order to enable continued learning at home in the...