President Sarkozy has unveiled an economic rescue plan for France, saying failure to act now will have disastrous repercussions in the future. He spoke in the northern town of Douai, home to a major Renault car-plant and where thousands of jobs depend on France’s financial well-being. “Our solution to the crisis is investment. That is the best way support business, to save jobs today and to create jobs in the future, because France has lagged behind in investing in its future, and our answer is massive investment,” said the president.
The 26-billion euro plan includes more than 10 billion euros for major infrastructure projects like municipal buildings, roads and railways. Their main advantage is that they employ a lot of people. There is also to be help for France’s car industry, like Renault in Douai. Directly or indirectly, the industry employs one in 10 of the French workforce, and is a vital monitor of the economy’s health. The Sarkozy plan comes into effect immediately, the president saying France cannot afford to wait.