The French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, INSEE, last week published its economic forecast for the first half of 2013, predicting France will remain on the edge of recession with zero growth, ever-rising unemployment, a collapse of purchasing power and consumption in tatters. Mediapart's economics and finance specialist Laurent Mauduit argues here that the INSEE study provides a damning appraisal of the French socialist government’s austerity policies and its obedience to the fiscal compact.