A special commission looking at ways to build the French economy has recommended that 35 billion euros should be spent on strategic investments.
The money will have to be borrowed through a so called special loan. The commission is headed by two former French prime ministers – Michel Rocard and Alain Juppe. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned this will make it harder for public debt in France But Juppe said: “This big capital spending programme, financed by a loan, has to work alongside our continuing efforts of reduce the budget deficit.” The left-wing opposition has said this investment should have been done in a different way. Socialist Party spokesman Benoît Hamon said: “The loan is needed now for our future, it would have been very simple, using state funds, to do this before, if they hadn’t put a cap on income tax for top earners, if they hadn’t made overtime tax exempt and given the hotel and restaurant trade a free gift in the shape of lower VAT. The commission said Paris needed to invest in seven main areas led by higher education, research, innovation and promising economic sectors. French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he will make final decisions on how much cash to raise and how to spend it in early December.