France: the end of the laissez-faire

MADRID | The Corner | Remember when back in 2005, politicians in Paris stood up in arms amid rumours of Pepsi trying to bid for Danone? That operation never saw the light but from now France’s government will have more power to block foreign takeovers in strategic industries such as energy, transport and telecom. It’s a “necessary rearmement for the Government,” argues Economy and Industry minister Arnaud Montebourg, who stopped the Dailymotion acquisition and recently appeared in a national magazine wearing the iconic marinière T-shirt, a French brand watch and holding a Moulinex mixer. Economic patriotism that might be useful before the EU elections but can also hurt a state in need of foreign investment.



France does some ménage to reduce its deficit

OP-ED By Julia Pastor | France approved dramatic expenses cuts amounting €50 bn on Tuesday in order to limit the country’s public deficit, presumably to reach 3.8% of GDP in 2014. They did not touch, however, budget lines of education, justice and security, as well as protected pensioners under €1,2oo a month against cuts at least for a year. Spaniards wished their government had scrutinized cuts more carefully, or that Brussels had allowed to do so.

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France’s 19th Century Foreign Policy Fails in 2014

President Francois Hollande faces the question of whether Paris should have intervened in the CAR, where a significant percentage of the country’s citizens view France’s intervention as a form of 21st century neo-colonialism. France was clearly naïve to believe that deploying fewer than 2,000 troops to a destabilized nation bordering on anarchy and awash with arms would restore stability.

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To Fulfill New Year’s Wishes, France Needs to Boost Revenues

MADRID | By Julia Pastor | France just started to go through its new year’s checklist. President Hollande announced last week budgetary cuts of €50 billion for 2015-2017, in addition to those €15bn revealed in September. The country urgently needs to increase revenues and it could do it via the sale of state-owned companies stakes such as a French and European reference like Airbus.

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Is France the Euro Zone’s New Bashing Victim?

Op-ed by Ana Fuentes | We no longer hear about ‘Spailout’ nor ‘Grexit’, but there seems to be a euro zone’s new victim: France. A Newsweek magazine article called ‘The fall of France’ wondered about the Hexagone’s economic health and how it may be a burden for the EZ’s recovery. The problem is, some of the stated facts were wrong. French media are striking back.

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France: Where reforms need to be made

LONDON | By Barclays analysts | France’s macroeconomic situation does not look that bad and on average the country compares well with other developed economies. It does not suffer from a major imbalance in terms of yearly flows (trade, finances, etc). However, weaknesses, perniciously accumulating over the years, have now been laid bare by the crisis.

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France’s German Mirror

Project Syndicate | By In the mirror of Germany, the French must ask themselves fundamental questions. Have they made the right choices in terms of leaders and policies in recent decades?