Hollande sticks to growth plan

Hollande sticks to growth plan

By Dow Jones newswires

Mr Hollande said existing plans — including a liberalisation of regulated professions and an overhaul of financing and legal procedures in the housing sector — will deliver a quick economic boost. "I want to accelerate reforms to lift the level of growth and move more quickly," Mr Hollande said.

He also repeated his demand for Europe to do more to support economic growth and ease off the pressure to bring down budget deficits. "The pace of fiscal consolidation in Europe must be adapted to the exceptional situation," Mr Hollande said.

France's Socialist President François Hollande vowed Wednesday to stick to a fiscal program he set out in January, even as he returned from a short vacation to find that the country's economy stagnant and fewer French people trusting his policies can repair the situation.

But he also asked for concessions and patience from his party, warning the socialists must stick together or face defeat in elections just over two-and-a-half years from now. "The judgment in 2017 will be on the president, the government and the majority," he said.

Opposition parties are already building on the government's current weakness in preparation for the 2017 elections. "The President and the prime minister have lost the confidence of the French," the centre-right mayor of Bordeaux Alain Juppé said Wednesday, as he launched his candidacy to run for president in 2017.

But Mr Hollande said he wouldn't go beyond existing tax and spending-cut plans. "Any zigzagging would make our policies incomprehensible and wouldn't produce any results," Mr Hollande told French daily Le Monde.

Caught between the fractious majority and European demands, analysts say Mr Hollande can only make incremental changes. "If he goes one way he'll lose the majority.

Read more here: Business Spectator

    

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