Hollande outlines austerity plan for France

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Hollande outlines austerity plan for France

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French President Francois Hollande has given himself two years to turn round France’s economy as he outlined a raft of austerity measures on Sunday.

In one of the country’s toughest budgetary programmes in six decades, he included a controversial 75 per cent tax on the rich along with spending cuts and other taxes totalling 30 bn euros.

During a television interview he said it was an agenda for recovery:

“I’m going to set a timetable of two years for recovery and at the same time two years to set up a policy for employmentand for competitiveness….. I understand people are impatient but I would not try to fix in 4 months what previous presidents could not have accomplished in five or ten years.”

Hollande is facing an up-hill struggle: the French economy has stalled and unemployment is running at around 10 per cent and since his election four months ago his popularity has begun to slide.

With lay-offs due from restructuring plans at large French companies and government pressure being brought to bear on trade unions over changes to the labour market, it’s not sure how much the French public will accept.