Tuesday

20th Nov 2018

Hollande: '€30 billion must be found'

French Socialist President Francois Hollande has outlined a two-year plan to overhaul the country's stagnating economy and to boost employment.

The President conceded the task ahead to stimulate growth and restore public finances would be formidable, but promised in a live TV address on Sunday (9 September) to achieve results by 2014.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • French president Hollande outlined his plans on TV on Sunday (Photo: Francois Hollande)

"My mission is a recovery plan and the timeframe is two years," he said.

The country's hope of 1.2 percent growth for 2013 was recently dashed as figures indicated the economy will probably expand by just 0.8 percent next year.

With unemployment passing 10 percent for the first time since 2002 and increasing, the French leader tried to persuade the public that an increase in taxes would help lower the budget deficit to 3 percent of GDP in 2013.

"Thirty billion [euros] must be found," said Hollande.

He added that all the ministries, with the exception of education, security and justice, would have to reduce their costs by a total of €10 billion. Companies will contribute an additional €10 billion in taxes, with the remaining €10 billion levied on households.

Tax the rich

He also reaffirmed a new 75 percent tax on people earning more than €1 million a year, reportedly causing a stir among some of France's wealthiest.

The tax would affect between 2,000 to 3,000 people.

On Saturday, France's richest individual, Bernard Arnault of the luxury goods consortium LVMH, said he would apply for Belgian dual citizenship, according to the Belgian daily, La Libre Belgique.

Arnault says his decision has nothing to do with the 75 percent tax and that his fiscal homestead would remain in France.

Hollande on TV noted there would be no exceptions on the wealthy and said: "He [Arnault] must weigh up what it means to seek another nationality because we are proud to be French."

France's economy has failed to expand in the past three quarters and just over 3 million people are now unemployed.

In August, troubled car-maker Peugeot Citroen announced it would cut some 8,000 jobs in the country, with labour unions threatening widespread strikes if the government does not intervene.

Hollande said he would reverse the unemployment curve by 2014 and promised to create an additional 100,000 new jobs before the end of the year.

His government will also pressure businesses and unions to quickly reform the labour market. Should the two fail to put forward viable proposals that would offer greater worker protection but allow companies to be more flexible in hiring and firing, he said his government would intervene to impose the labour market reforms itself.

Hollande and Merkel in show of unity on Greece

The German and French leaders put on a careful display of unity on Greece on Thursday in Berlin, appearing briefly before press to urge Athens to continue reforms.

Hollande's millionaire tax struck down

French president Francois Hollande suffered a major political blow over the weekend when his flagship policy to heavily tax the very rich was struck down.

France in turmoil over tax-dodging minister

The scandal over France's tax-evading budget minister is threatening to engulf Hollande's government, which had promised an "irreproachable republic."

Thousands protest against French austerity budget

French President Francois Hollande faced his first serious public backlash after up to 50,000 lined the streets of Paris on Sunday in protest against his €37 billion austerity budget.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary grants asylum to ex-Macedonia PM
  2. UK court rules against government in Article 50 case
  3. May to meet Juncker on Wednesday to finalise Brexit deal
  4. Future of EU's Mediterranean naval mission in doubt
  5. EU budget talks for 2019 collapse
  6. EU mulls new Russia sanctions over Ukraine 'elections'
  7. EU farm chief 'confident' sugar prices will recover
  8. Researcher: EU expert groups still imbalanced and opaque

Stakeholder

An open China brings opportunities to Europe

Some 60 years ago, the first major World Fair after World War II was held in Brussels. Sixty years on, China International Import Expo (CIIE), the first world expo dedicated to expanding imports, will open in Shanghai, China.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Boycott threats mount on eve of Interpol election
  2. EU parliament to renege on transparency promises
  3. Cyprus and Greece to create EU spy academy
  4. MEPs likely to delay vote on greater transparency
  5. Cold shoulder for Franco-German euro budget plan
  6. Whistleblower: Danske Bank gag stops me telling more
  7. Spain raises Gibraltar, as EU and UK talk post-2020 relationship
  8. Panic is not answer to EU's security challenges

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us