Ex-French premier censures Hollande over economic policy
Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:40AM
Well, I want to tell him (Hollande) that if there is no change, there will be the wall of recession and unemployment at the end.” Former French Prime Minister Francois FillonFormer French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has criticized the economic policy of the government of President Francois Hollande. Fillon said on Tuesday that he was seriously concerned by a Tuesday speech by the French president over the economic situation in the country. The former premier also stated that he believed 2013 would be a difficult year for France and that Hollande’s current economic policy would result in recession and unemployment.
Hollande has apparently been burying his head in the sand as he confirmed that he would not make any changes in his policies, Fillon said.“Well, I want to tell him that if there is no change, there will be the wall of recession and unemployment at the end. That is a mistake, because the economic policy needs to be changed.” During the speech, Hollande defended his government and his record on economic reform in France. He also acknowledged that the French people have been facing difficulties amid a debt crisis that has led European governments to impose austerity measures. However, the French president did not offer a quick response to the economic crisis in the country, saying, “I understand the worries of the people and the doubts they may express about the ability of politicians to meet the challenge… We are going to have a continuous increase in unemployment for a year.” “That will be hard on families and companies… we’ll do everything so that at the end of 2013 we can turn the unemployment curve around.” On November 9, the Bank of France said the second-largest economy in the eurozone was heading for a recession at the end of 2012, as it expected the gross domestic product to shrink by 0.1 percent in the last three months of 2012. The French government hopes that the 30 billion euros of budget savings -- comprising 10 billion-euro worth spending cuts and 20 billion euros of tax break -- will allow it to meet its European commitments on deficit reduction. SAB/HSN