Diskusjon om politiske temaer fra det internasjonale nyhetsbildet.

Re: Frankrike

Innlegg Vegard Martinsen 20 Nov 2012, 09:27 ... 49746.html

Frankrike nedgraderes

Frankrike er satt under ytterligere økonomisk press etter kredittvurderingsbyrået Moody's nedgradering av Frankrikes kredittverdighet.

Kredittverdigheten ble sent mandag nedgradert med ett hakk fra toppkategorien AAA til AA1.

Moody's advarer samtidig om at en ytterligere nedgradering kan bli aktuelt. Moody's er det andre av de tre store internasjonale kredittvurderingsbyråene som nedgraderer Frankrike, etter at Standard & Poor's gjorde det samme tidligere i år.
Strukturelle problemer

Nedgraderingen kommer samtidig med politisk spenning både mellom president François Hollande og hans allierte på venstresiden, og i opposisjonen, der høyrepartiet UMP nettopp har vært gjennom en bitter lederstrid.

Moody's begrunner nedgraderingen med store strukturelle problemer i den franske økonomien, utfordringer som gjør det vanskeligere for landet å konkurrere globalt. Byrået peker også på at Frankrike er utsatt som følge av mulighetene for at kriserammede europartnere vil kunne trenge ytterligere hjelp.

Moody's er positive til reformplaner Hollande-regjeringen har annonsert, men bemerker samtidig at franske regjeringer de siste tiårene har vært dårlige til å få satt reformer ut i livet.

Finansminister Pierre Moscovici sier nedgraderingen er en dom over den tidligere regjeringens politikk.

- Dette handler situasjonen våre forgjengere overlot oss, sier Moscovici og legger til at nedgraderingen gjør det viktig for å sosialistregjeringen å iverksette reformer den allerede har annonsert.

Moody's mener strukturelle problemer som et lite fleksibelt arbeidsmarked og manglende innovasjon vil fortsette å ramme mulighetene for økonomisk vekst. Også Det internasjonale pengefondet (IMF) har advart om at Frankrike kan miste markedsandeler til land i Sør-Europa som reformerer økonomiene sine.
«Tikkende bombe»

Den franske økonomien rammes også av manglende etterspørsel, blant annet som følge av skatteøkninger, ifølge kredittvurderingsbyrået, som likevel understreker at Frankrike har en god kredittevne og en mangfoldig økonomi.

Ukemagasinet The Economist karakteriserte i siste utgave Frankrike som «en tikkende bombe i hjertet av Europa», og viser til mye av det samme som Moody's. Men Wolfgang Münchau, kommentator i Financial Times, sier Frankrike flere ganger tidligere har motbevist negative spådommer, og at landet ofte er mer motstandsdyktige enn kommentatorer skal ha det til.
Vegard Martinsen
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Re: Frankrike

Innlegg QIQrrr 28 Okt 2013, 22:33

Presseurop, October 28, 2013: “There is growing wind of revolt against the government’s fiscal policy,” explains La Croix in the wake of a weekend of violent demonstrations in Brittany agains the ecotaxe, a new environmental tax on road transport - France: ‘Government under tax pressure’
Børge Svanstrøm Amundsen

"Atlas was permitted the opinion that he was at liberty, if he wished, to drop the Earth and creep away; but this opinion was all that he was permitted" - Franz Kafka
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Re: Frankrike

Innlegg Ultima_Thule 08 Des 2013, 03:51

Hey France, How Stupid Do You Think We Are?

When Morrie Taylor visited a Goodyear factory in north Amiens, France, he couldn’t believe what he saw: “The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours,” the CEO of Titan TWI -2.45% International wrote to French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg earlier this month. “They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three.”

The letter, dated February 8, was leaked to the French newspaper Les Echos this week, apparently by the government. The French unions have denounced it as gravely insulting, and so on. Mr. Taylor is unrepentant.

Mr. Taylor built Titan from scratch into the world’s largest maker of steel wheels and tires for farming and off-road use. And when Goodyear wanted to sell the factory in North Amiens, Titan was the only company that bid. But the factory is dominated by the hard-left CGT union, which Mr. Taylor, not without reason, calls “the communist union.”

Mr. Taylor was the only thing standing between the plant and full closure, with the ensuing loss of 1,500 jobs at that plant and another, also owned by Goodyear, across the road. But when he tried to suggest that the plant’s productivity needed to improve to keep it open, the union president said, according to Mr. Taylor, “This is the French way.” Mr. Taylor told us over the phone that he responded, “Sitting in a cafe is also the French way, and that’s what you’ll be doing soon” if this plant closes.

Mr. Taylor also said that the union bosses told him, “You have to do what we tell you, or we won’t let you buy it [the factory.]”

“So I told them, you guys go bag it,” Mr. Taylor told us.

The trouble with these French factories, Mr. Taylor added, is that once you own one, “You can’t do anything about it, because you can’t fire anybody, you can’t discipline anybody, because that’s against the credo.” Mr. Taylor told us that at least some of the union bosses agreed with him that the situation was out of control at that plant. Alas, it also isn’t the French way to speak out against the most militant of your fellow unionists.

So Mr. Taylor walked. That prompted Mr. Montebourg in January to beseech Mr. Taylor to return to the table. According to Mr. Taylor, the Industry Minister promised to “put his weight behind” getting a mutually agreeable deal with the unions.

And that’s where Mr. Taylor’s February 8 letter comes in.

“Sir,” he wrote, “your letter states that you want Titan to start a discussion. How stupid do you think we are? Titan is the one with the money and the talent to produce tires. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government.”

Mr. Montebourg’s full title is “Minister of Industrial Renewal,” but hardly a month seems to pass without another story about a plant shutting down, or Mr. Montebourg threatening a CEO for threatening to shut down a plant, or begging a CEO (sometimes the same one) to stay in France. If there were truth in advertising laws in politics, he might well have to rebrand himself as the Minister for Industrial Decline.
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Re: Frankrike

Innlegg Ultima_Thule 09 Jan 2014, 03:16

François Hollande concedes taxes 'too heavy' in admission that annoys all sides in France

French president's vague promise of lower taxes in future infuriates French households facing tax rises

A New Year's message from François Hollande backfired as his vague promise that taxes would be lowered some time in the future jarred with French voters facing tax increases that took effect as he was speaking.

Instead of winning plaudits for his unexpected admission that taxes had become "too heavy, much too heavy", the unpopular socialist president - weakened by tax increases, rising unemployment and a shrinking economy - provoked incredulity and scepticism among critics on both Left and Right.

Hard-pressed French households faced VAT increases on most goods and services from Jan 1 and only days earlier France's supreme court had upheld a new 75 per cent supertax on high-paying companies.

Mr Hollande made his televised address in front of a virtual background, an image of the Elysée Palace, which provoked a flood of comments on Twitter comparing his appearance with that of a Soviet leader of the 1970s.

Philippe Moreau-Chevrolet, a leading PR consultant, told BFM television: "He looked unprofessional, and it leads people to question how professional he is when it comes to policy if he's not professional in the way he communicates."
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Re: Frankrike

Innlegg Ultima_Thule 09 Jan 2014, 17:09

Meet the new Huguenots: French capitalists coming here to escape Hollande

The emigration of the Huguenots

Tens of thousands of French people believe in free market capitalism. The trouble for France is that most of them seem to live in London.

A steady flow of bright, ambitious French folk have made their way across the Channel in recent years. It is common place to hear French spoken on buses, tubes and outside school gates across London. I have even heard it said that London is now the seventh largest (or is it now sixth?) French city.

In part, these emigrés have been pulled towards London by the opportunities afforded by a global capital. In part, they have been pushed across the Channel by the eurozone disaster.

The good news for London – and the disastrous news for France – is that this flow of talent is going to continue. Thanks to President Hollande's insane 75 per cent tax rates that take effect this week, the brightest and best French will continue to leave France.

France, where the state consumes 56 percent of GDP and where they last managed to balance the budget in 1974, is governed by an elite fixated by the idea of doing everything by grand design. Which is fine on those occasions you might wish to build a new airport or a high speed railway line. It is not the best way to run an entire country.

Like the Huguenots before them, these French exiles will bolster Britain. It's not just that they have lots of get-up-go, having already got up and gone. They are, I suspect, likely to be rather hostile to the idea of high taxes and big government. Exiles from dirigisme, they are hardly likely to want to see more top down government over here.

What chance we might persuade Mrs Merkel to go for a 75 percent tax rate in Germany?
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Re: Frankrike

Innlegg Ultima_Thule 09 Jan 2014, 18:49

François Hollande 'in denial' over France's unemployment

François Hollande accused of cooking unemployment statistics after he insists he is still on track for reversing the jobless trend by year's end despite figures suggesting the reverse

A man walks out of the Pole Emploi employment centre run by the government in Villeneuve d'Ascq. France's number of registered jobseekers rose by 17,800 in November to 3.29 million, the labour ministry said on December 26, challenging government claims to have bucked a trend of spiralling unemployment.

François Hollande’s credibility is lying in tatters after figures indicated he had failed to deliver on a central government promise to "turn the tide" on unemployment by year's end.

Riding lower in the polls than any of his postwar predecessors, the Socialist leader chose to defy predictions by the IMF, the European Commission and the vast majority of private economists to bank on a turnaround in French unemployment by the end of 2013.

"I will be judged on it," he told the nation in a Bastille Day television interview over the summer, in what even allies said was a deeply risky bet.

On Thursday night, labour ministry data showed that the bet was all but lost as the number of people registered as out of work in mainland France had grown by 17,800 in November to 3.29 million. This almost wiped out the 19,900 fall in the number of jobless in October – a figure that ministers had prematurely insisted was the first glimmer of economic recovery.

The number of unemployed now accounts for more than 10.5 per cent of the working population - perilously close to a record high.

The figures cap what has been a disastrous year for Mr Hollande, as his approval ratings have crashed through successive basements with the French deeply dissatisfied with tax hikes, no significant structural reforms, and successive government U-turns on a range of issues.

Socialist Party leaders are now bracing for humiliating losses in municipal elections in March and the European elections in May that could lead to dissolving parliament.

In public, Mr Hollande’s government put a brave face on the latest figures, even suggesting that they were going its way if widened to include part-time and short-term workers among job seekers.

They also pointed out that the final jobless figures for December will only be released late next month – giving small cause for hope.

Michel Sapin, the labour minister, on Thursday said that the overall situation remained “volatile” but encouraging and if examined quarter by quarter, already showed a labour market on the mend.

This allowed Mr Hollande to claim in a statement: "The reversal of the jobless trend, to which I am committed, is well initiated. Reducing unemployment for the long run is now within reach."

But in private, the government was despondent, with one aide telling Le Parisien newspaper: “This is really bad news.”

Critics, meanwhile, accused the government of being “in total denial” about the true state of the economy and their ability to tackle unemployment.

Many pointed to the fact that thousands of jobs have been “artificially” created by state-subsidised youth employment schemes and by a programme to cut payroll taxes for small and medium businesses.

Jean-Francois Copé, leader of the main opposition UMP party, said Mr Hollande must admit "his failure and immediately announce a change of economic policy".

He said Mr Hollande could not hide "the tough reality that the number of jobless people has never been so high in our country".

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front party, said: "It is distressing to see that, despite that, the real increase in unemployment is too strong to be statistically covered up as a reduction.”

Medef, France’s largest employers' union, said structural reforms and higher corporate competitiveness were needed to create more jobs.

Workers’ unions also dismissed the government's claim. The CFDT said the figures were deceptive and the CGT said Mr Hollande had lost his bet to deliver on unemployment by the end of the year.

The figures followed gloomy forecasts for 2014 made this month by Insee, the independent state agency saying that unemployment would continue to rise until the middle of next year.

The failure of the French economy to rally is in stark contrast to the success of the German economy and the stronger signs of recovery in Britain.

Mr Hollande now faces stark choices in reducing state spending, which it must bring down by 50 billion euros in three years to reach European budget deficit commitments.

He can expect more anger next week when he increases VAT despite claims that there be no significant tax rises next year.

“The president had bet his shirt on reversing the unemployment curve by the end of the year,” wrote the Charente Libre newspaper. “He’s unlikely to make it to New Year without catching a cold.”

Og når nasjonalsosialistene - med trykk på sosialistene - skaper arbeidsledighet og generell økonomisk tilbakegang, så vender den kollektivistiske velgerskaren seg til nasjonalsosialistene - med trykk på nasjonal:
The Far-Left Economics of France's Far Right

The right-wing National Front (FN) has become France’s most popular political party, as its leader Marine Le Pen capitalizes on voter anger over the country’s sagging economic fortunes.

What’s more surprising is that FN has a plan to fix the economy that in many ways resembles a leftist manifesto. Nationalizing banks, raising protectionist trade barriers, handing out cash to low-paid workers—they’re all part of the platform developed by Le Pen, 45, who took over leadership of the party two years ago from her father, FN founder Jean-Marie Le Pen.

“The FN used to hobble along on one leg,” talking only about immigration and crime, which were its signature issues, Marine Le Pen says in an interview at the party headquarters in suburban Paris. “When you go from 10 percent to 25 percent in the polls, you are a real party, and you need to behave that way. I’ve immersed myself to give visibility to the economic and social program, to build a real platform on these issues.”

Le Pen says France has been “left alone, naked” to face unchecked globalization. She wants France to leave the European Union and pull out of the euro currency so it can keep tight controls on imports while devaluing its currency “to relaunch exports and employment.” The FN platform calls for a 3 percent tax on all imports that would be used to give a €200 ($270) monthly bonus to the country’s lowest-paid workers.

She also wants the government to play a stronger role in managing the economy—for example, by temporarily nationalizing banks and forcing them to “clean up” their practices. “We still believe in free markets,” she says. “The danger is ultra-liberalism, where financial markets impose all the rules.”

Le Pen isn’t the only French politician who has blasted financiers. Socialist President François Hollande proclaimed them his “enemy” during his 2012 campaign. But he has never suggested nationalizing banks.

While Hollande has been raising taxes in an effort to narrow the budget deficit, the FN’s economic platform is packed with expensive crowd-pleasers, such as a 20 percent cut in the gas tax and a lowering of the standard retirement age to 60. (Then-President Nicolas Sarkozy of the center-right raised it to 62 only three years ago.) Le Pen says the government can save money by cutting waste, ending social benefits for immigrants, and eliminating payments to the EU.

She’s not an anti-tax campaigner, though. “I am for a social protection system, à la française,” she says. “In this country we are willing to pay a certain level of taxes in order to assure a certain standard of living.”

A tall, elegant woman who trained as a lawyer and who is a single mother of three, Le Pen is a more sympathique figure than her father, an ex-paratrooper known for making anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic comments. “It’s true that in his 65-year career, he said some unfortunate things,” she says of her father. “He’s a bit of a punk.” But, she says attacks on her father went “beyond reason.”

Anti-Semitic comedians and 'boss-napping': France spirals towards chaos

Dieudonné M’bala M’bala – an anti-Semitic comedian and friend of Le Pen's.

Finally, Francois Hollande has done something smart. This week he backed a move to ban shows by the controversial French "comedian" Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, on the grounds that they threaten public order. The story is remarkable in two regards: first that it's taken so long for the French establishment to try to clean up Dieudonné's vile act and second that he was ever labelled a comedian. He's funny if you find violently racist mime funny.

Dieudonné is a queer fish. Half French, half Cameroonian, he began his career is an anti-racist comedian in a double act that parodied racial stereotypes. Then he did a TV skit in which he compared Israeli settlers to Nazis and found himself ostracised by critics. Slowly, he turned to the Right – in one of history's most bizarre reinventions. By the late noughties he was hanging around with anti-Semitic "intellectuals", running for the presidency on an anti-Zionist ticket and even inviting Jean-Marie Le Pen to be godfather to one of his children. He helped to popularise the quenelle, a downward motion with a stiffened arm that has the colloquial meaning of "up yours" but also looks a lot like a reversed Nazi salute. Last year Nicolas Anelka of West Bromwich Albion FC gave a joyful quenelle to celebrate a goal – an act of solidarity, he said, with his friend Dieudonné.

Anelka and others insist that the salute is simply an anti-establishment gesture, in which case it's distressing to discover that in modern France the politics of populism and anti-Semitism remain entwined. It was there in the Dreyfus affair, the Vichy government, traditionalist Catholicism and, of course, the Front National – which is poised to do well in this year's elections. Oh, there are those who will insist that sultry Marine Le Pen is the Tony Blair of the FN, that she has helped to cleanse it of its racist past. But that's the equivalent of saying that she's applied a little lipstick to a rabid pitbull. Marine continues to employ Frederic Chatillon as a PR man – an obnoxious creature who supports Hizbollah and has promoted Holocaust-denying literature. In 2006, Chatillon visited Hizbollah and – quelle surprise – brought Dieudonné along for the ride.

Part of the problem is lingering anti-Semitism among a small but vocal minority on the French Right. But responsibility must also be placed at the door of moderate leaders who have consistently failed their fellow countrymen and created the kind of economic and social conditions that breed violent reaction. A bizarre new trend: French workers have taken to kidnapping their bosses to bargain for higher payouts for laid-off staff. The scene as reported by Reuters is like something out of a 1970s social realist farce:
France 2 TV showed the Goodyear executives seated at a table staring straight ahead as workers shouted in their ears. One director had a bed pan thrust in his face. The unionists said the two men were being amply supplied with food and water.

Ironically, this is radical socialism being used to counter problems created by … radical socialism. Crazily high taxes, stiffling regulation, employment contracts that lock many out of the workforce – France is paying the price for a statist model that simply doesn't work. The Front National, by the way, actually offers more of the same. It is not a conservative, or classical liberal, alternative to the status quo but a protectionist, nationalist variant of socialism that simply wants to redirect the proceeds of redistribution to the white majority. In other words, France is locked into a debate between variants of the same bad impulse towards shutting out the rest of the world and acting like the Berlin Wall never fell.

Finally, Hollande has signalled a U-turn and promises better accounting. But it's maddening that it's taken so long for this to happen. And maddening, too, that Europe is only just waking up to the ugliness of Dieudonné's act. This year could end up being a bumper one for France's Far Right and the Front National might edge a little further into the mainstream. The prominence of Dieudonné reminds us that the intellectual roots of that nationalism are profoundly anti-Semitic, that you might vote for a thoroughly modern Marine but get a very old fashioned Vichy. (med hyperlenker)

Le Pen-enes familievenn Dieudonné M'bala M'bala står også bak filmen L’Antisémite (Anti-Semitten) og sangen og dansen Shoananas som er fremført til melodien av en fransk barnesang fra 1980-tallet (shoananas er et teleskopord/sammentrukket ord av Shoa, det hebraiske ordet for Holocaust, og frukten ananas).
Wikipedia: Quenelle (gesture)
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