Coming soon...President Hollande's economic U-turn

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François Hollande has acknowledged economic reality by accepting that France can no longer meet its goal of cutting its budget deficit to 3% of GDP this year. In doing so he is abandoning one of his key campaign pledges, and he is now preparing to bring his economic policy squarely into line with that of most other European countries, which inevitably raises the spectre of the infamous 'structural reforms'. Are their parallels with President Mitterrand's notorious economic U-turn in 1983? Martine Orange reports.

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François Hollande committed himself to a policy of budgetary rigour at the time of the Socialist Party presidential primaries in the autumn of 2011, which enabled him to differentiate himself clearly from his rival Martine Aubry. And for more than a year he stuck doggedly to his promise to cut the public spending deficit to 3% by 2013, as required by the European fiscal pact. And yet the government has now rushed to abandon this commitment within the space of a couple of days.