When the man at the helm of the French bosses' organisation calls for wage restraint and suggests paying young workers less than the legal minimum wage, it would seem reasonable to expect him to be prepared to take a dose of his own medicine. Instead Pierre Gattaz, president of the employers' association MEDEF, has just awarded himself a 29% pay rise. He is far from being the only culprit in France's corporate world. But, says Martine Orange, the symbolism bodes ill for President François Hollande's bid to cut business costs in exchange for creating jobs, a policy on which the president has staked his political future.
A poll of executives in the three countries show confidence in the German economy, doubts over that in Britain, and pessimism for France.