France's employment minister has questioned the economic policies of President Francois Hollande, admitting that the European country is “totally bankrupt.”
Michel Sapin's remarks were made during a radio interview on Tuesday, where he also warned against Hollande’s controversial “tax and spend” policy, which has made many high-profile people move abroad.
“There is a state but it is a totally bankrupt state,” said Sapin, adding, “That is why we had to put a deficit reduction plan in place, and nothing should make us turn away from that objective.”
France’s Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici gave an immediate response saying the remarks were ‘inappropriate.’
Meanwhile, a recent poll in the French daily Le Figaro showed that 80 percent of the population agree with Sapin’s viewpoint.
The French employment minister’s comment comes as Hollande is trying to improve the image of the French economy after vowing to reduce the country’s deficit through spending cuts by 60 billon euros (USD 81 billion) and increasing taxes by 20 billion euros (USD 27 billion) over the next five years.
According to figures published by France’s National Statistics Institute (INSEE) in September 2012, France’s national debt has reach 90 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP).
Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.