The New York Times claims Macron has ordered a “broad government crackdown against Muslim individuals and groups.” The World Socialist Web Site, in a widely retweeted story, accuses Macron of “whipping up … anti-Muslim hysteria.” An American sociologist who researches white supremacists laments that French officials “respond to violent extremism with violent extremism.” What is this “broad crackdown”? Macron’s government has closed a mosque, which was run by a radical imam. A number of arrests have been made. “Anti-Muslim hysteria”? 51 more Islamic organizations are being investigated for alleged extremist sympathies. What about “violent extremism”? There are plans to take away the French passports of 231 foreign-born criminals.
Luis Alcaide (Capital Madrid) | Next Sunday, the 15th, municipal elections will be held. To what extent will national problems, such as the controversial reform of pensions by decree, influence the results?
Abertis’ French subsidiary, Sanef, has reached an agreement with the French government to implement a new €147 million investment programme to modernise its network. It exchange, it has secured anual tariff hikes from 2019 to 2021.
MADRID | The Corner | EU posts marginal growth stats, but the figures are indicative of slow pace of recovery.
MADRID | The Corner | Markets were sad on Monday until Mario Draghi emerged and spoke his magic words. It seems markets feel more secure every time the president of the ECB takes the lead and assures everything will be alright. Investors felt more confident after his intervention at the European Parliament’s Economic and Financial Committee. However, despite his speech regarding new potential actions in monetary policy, he also highlighted the need of deep structural reforms by the Members States. According to market watchers at Link Securities, sooner or later, “such reforms will have to be faced by Italy or France’s government, because it is necessary to make them competitive and able to grow again.”
John Bruton | I recently attended a conference that looked at France’s domestic economic situation, and the impact that has on the country’s global and European role. According to budgets published in October, France and Italy are failing to meet the eurozone’s requirements for reducing government debts and deficits to sustainable levels.
MADRID | The Corner | The European Commission said on Tuesday it had found no serious fault with eurozone member states’ 2015 budget plans, clearing France and Italy after they made last-minute changes to meet EU demands. The budget review covered all 18 eurozone countries, with the focus on struggling France and Italy after Brussels told them that their original plans fell well short of what was required to meet European Union norms.
MADRID | By Julia Pastor | ECB’s Mario Draghi brought put the bleak panorama that the Eurozone’s economy is facing on the table, and we saw it again reflected in the not-so-promising September manufacturing PMI. The index came in at 50.5 compared to 50.7 in the prior month, whereas EZ Services PMI accelerated at 52.8 for September versus 53.1 in August. Even the composite index plummeted to its lowest fee in the last nine months and reached 52.3. In Germany, both manufacturing and services indexes have also decreased; while in France only manufacturing improved, although it is still contracting.
LONDON | By JP Morgan analysts | The French Finance Minister, Michel Sapin, announced this week that the deficit objective of 3.8% of GDP for 2014 would not be reached. This news was not surprising as the Ministry of Finance hinted this summer that the general government deficit would likely to be above 4% this year. But in his last speech, Sapin suggested that the magnitude of the revision would be large, as the government now expects a deficit of 4.4% for 2014. This represents a 0.1% worsening of the deficit with respect to 2013.
MADRID | The Corner | The economy is stagnant, the confidence of businesses and consumers continues to decline and unemployment is touching new highs. France is being forced to carry out reforms from all sides, hence François Hollande and Manuel Valls have chosen the social democrat Emmanuel Macron as Minister of Economy, confirming their willingness to pursue the economic reform agenda.