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Thread: One year in to Hollande's France. How are things going?

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Default One year in to Hollande's France. How are things going?

    Hollande was elected one year ago, a sweeping, comprehensive victory that gave the French left complete control of the Presidency and parliament, giving him a mandate unseen in decades.

    Hollande promised change.
    • Higher taxes for the rich (A whopping 75% rich tax)
    • Lower VAT
    • Higher corporation taxes
    • Crack down on tax avoidence
    • Protect industrialisation in the country.
    • Reverse unemployment by the end of 2013



    Unfortunately it's not going to plan.

    It started terribly with VAT going up and corporation taxes being reduced.

    Francois Hollande lurches Right in historic U-Turn to save French economy - Telegraph

    Hollande's team had to admit getting their figures wrong immediately after the election and infact needed to increase VAT and reduce business taxes. This started a drop in support that hasn't let up.

    The 75% tax was struck out by the Supreme Court as being "unfair", but it still spooked the rich, with an increasing amount leaving. Beloved national hero Depardeau attracted the most attention by his flirtation with Russia and Belgium, but many companies chiefs have also left, and more importantly: Those companies are saying they're going to recruit management from outside of France as a result of this:

    Top executives join France exodus - FT.com
    But Bernard Charlès, chief executive of Dassault Systèmes, was sharply critical of the high tax policies of Mr Hollande’s Socialist government, telling Le Monde newspaper in an interview: “Residing in France has become a big handicap. Very largely, our hiring of top managers will have to be done elsewhere than in France.”
    In his (Second as president. Seriously) Thursday press conference he declared the worst over. On the day it was announced France is in a double dip recession.

    The crack down on tax avoidance was hit when the budget minister had to be fired for.....avoiding taxes. In Switzerland. He's not exactly going quietly:

    Meanwhile, Hollande’s disgraced former budget minister, Jerome Cahuzac – who lied to parliament about his tax fraud – has accused the president of “telling lies worse than his.”
    Cahuzac said: “It is less serious to lie for 15 seconds before 577 MPs than to lie for a whole year about the state of France, as Francois Hollande has done.”
    Industrialiastion....well no. Some of the sites Hollande actually campaigned at, promising keep open have closed, with a bit of a mess from the government about the possiblity of nationalising them:

    French steel furnaces mothballed amid ‘broken promises’ by Hollande | Inquirer Business

    Unemployment is near 11% now (up 1% since he took over), a record high. Hollande made this his number one priority and it's stalling badly.

    The social side has seen him utterly underestimate the ferocity of discontent amongst the minority of people opposed to gay marriage, which he signed into law this week.

    Added to the above there's an upcoming documentary where Hollande allowed camera's to follow him around for his first months in office. By all accounts he comes out of it as dithering and unfamiliar with the details of issues.

    It's all combined into a pretty horrific polling situation. He's now the most unpopular president ever with only 25% of people approving of him.

    And Sarko hasn't gone away. Flush with cash from investment gigs, the feeling is that he's saving a warchest for the next election, one that he's predicted to win handily at this point.

    The left need to have a period of introspection to decide how they're going to stabilise, because right now the house of French socialism is showing signs of collapse.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

  2. #2
    MrFunkyZombaloo
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    No need to worry about France. Hollande's grand plan is to have a €urozone government set the Parisian agenda (among others) and beat the recession.

    EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / Hollande calls for euro government to beat recession

  3. #3
    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    I was in France last week. They were horrified to hear public sector had taken cuts of up to 15%. They said it would never happen in France as there would be strikes. The attitude of the French was not an inch. I don't see how the Socialists cannot drag France out of recession unless they break their promises. I also don't see how nay government can get elected by openly stating that they will take the steps that need to be taken to get France back on track.

    They have not balanced a budget since 1972 and as a leaked German parliamentary report has stated all the efforts to rectify this have come through taxation. They simply have no more room to increase taxes so cuts are all that is left and yet the French public seem not to be aware of this and live in some sort of bubble where they think their pay rates and welfare can continue on indefinitely.

  4. #4
    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Yeah Hollande's just dead wrong when he says the worst is behind them. Because of the extremely generous welfare rates a 1% increase in unemployment has a far higher impact on the purse than it does in the UK or even Ireland.

    They've got 2 years to get their deficit down to EU requirements (This after an extension) that means changes to pensions, changes to welfare standards. This is what he needs to focus on, not starting some fight with the UK/Germany/EVERYONE ELSE IN THE EU over fastracked integration.

    I'm surprised his Thursday speech didn't get more focus over here.
    A beleagured President François Hollande went on the offensive today calling for an “economic government” for the Eurozone and “political union” in Europe within two years.

    Stung by accusations that he has been too passive in his first year in office, Mr Hollande rolled the dice on the future of the European Union - to the potential embarrassment of both David Cameron and the German chancellor, Angela Merkel.
    This is just delusional. How can he think this will happen? What does he think the impact of an "economic government" would do to France's welfare and tax structure?
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

  5. #5
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    Politics.ie Member Clanrickard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sync View Post
    This is just delusional. How can he think this will happen? What does he think the impact of an "economic government" would do to France's welfare and tax structure?
    Exactly. A Eurozone government would be tough on deficits and balanced budgets.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clanrickard View Post
    Exactly. A Eurozone government would be tough on deficits and balanced budgets.
    That's the point. He knows what needs to be done to fix the country and he knows that if he were to do it there would be riots on the streets. He wants to externalize the risk.

    It also strips back the democratic process because as French or Irish people we don't pay much heed nor have much say in how Europe is run. So decisions at the European level are very difficult to punish at the polling station.

    All the while our elected representatives can still swan around as presidents and prime ministers even though perhaps 50% of the responsibility has been passed to europe. They never have to make difficult decision and they have the bogey man of europe to blame everything on.

    He desperately wants somebody else to fix France for him.
    "We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism" - Donald J Trump

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    Politics.ie Member Sync's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sexual Harassment Panda View Post
    He desperately wants somebody else to fix France for him.
    That's really what Thursday felt like to me. "I've tried for a year. Too hard. Let's get a euro government to fix everything". He's basically proposing to give the keys to Germany, he just seems completely out of his depth in this role.
    I'm living in America, and in America, you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business. Now f***ing pay me.

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member Analyzer's Avatar
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    France peaked in the 1970s, and has been going downhill ever since.

    France is on a long term trajectory to disaster. And it is committed to getting there. The resolve is unalterable. People who do not agree usually leave the country and go abroad.
    Coveney's ambition is the be Ireland's next EU Commissar and Ireland will pay a price as he builds his CV to position himself sufficiently loyal to the nEU empire.

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    Politics.ie Member Honecker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analyzer View Post
    France peaked in the 1970s, and has been going downhill ever since.

    France is on a long term trajectory to disaster. And it is committed to getting there. The resolve is unalterable. People who do not agree usually leave the country and go abroad.
    I'd say France peaked in 1870 myself. They never recovered from the Franco-Prussian war.

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