Keyword: economic crisis

A French austerity programme that threatens all of Europe's economies


Last month, French President François Hollande announced a programme to cut public spending by a further 50 billion euros by 2017, on top of 14 billion euros already set to be saved during 2014. Mediapart economy and finance specialist Martine Orange analyses the potentially disastrous effects that such drastic and unprecedented austerity measures may entail for both France and the rest of Europe at a time when economies across the continent are threatened by deflation.

Greek journalist arrested for exposing 'Lagarde list' of Swiss bank accounts

Journalist is arrested for publishing a 2010 file by then-French finance minister Christine Lagarde of about 2,000 Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.

Trapped in an industrial wasteland

Serge Baroni, dans sa maison du quartier de la Soie © Simon Castel Serge Baroni, dans sa maison du quartier de la Soie © Simon Castel

The town of Givet, in the Ardennes region of north-east France, was once a flourishing industrial site, its earliest factories dating back to the late 18th century. Today, however, Givet is studded with industrial wastelands, the landmarks of a steady decline that began in the 1980s and which has accelerated over recent years. Little by little, seemingly without any fuss or mass layoffs, the town has lost its lifeblood, reaching a point of almost complete de-industrialisation. Simon Castel reports on the despair and gloom of a population trapped in crisis.

Good business, Bad business: Bill Emmott on the crisis in Italy

 © Justine Stoddart © Justine Stoddart

In 2001, British weekly magazine The Economist published an investigation into tycoon-turned politician Silvio Berlusconi’s shady business empire under the headline ‘Why Silvio Berlusconi is unfit to lead Italy’. It earned the magazine and its then-editor, Bill Emmott, the full wrath of the Italian leader and several legal suits for defamation, all of which were ultimately thrown out. This year Emmott published an in-depth analysis of modern-day Italy, called Good Italy, Bad Italy, in which he argues why the country, now rid of Berlusconi, has reached a crucial societal and economic crossroads that allows no turning back to its past structure, and where the future path for change it will take is all but certain. Here he tells Mediapart’s Philippe Riès how the eurozone's third-largest economy was suffocated by “the desire of business to seize the state and to use it to serve its own selfish interest”.

'Mediocre' Hollande under fire from allies

President François Hollande returns from summer break, his political honeymoon over amid growing criticism from within his own camp.

French economy to enter into recession, says Bank of France

Bank of France says French economy set to slip into a shallow recession in the third quarter, dampening government hopes for 0.3% growth in 2012.

Hollande bid 'to lead revival of European Left'

With Europe in crisis, François Hollande wants to use reaction against austerity to reinvigorate its moribund centre-left, says NYT's Stephen Castle.

Hollande industry goals meet challenge in Peugeot town

Reuters reports from once-prosperous Sochaux, eastern France, dependent upon its Peugeot car-making plant, where townsfolk now fear a grim future.

French biotech activity felled by economic crisis

The economic crisis has hard hit the French life science sector, with creation of new firms down by almost half last year compared to 2010.

Left rages as Sarkozy finds best friend in crisis

President Nicolas Sarkozy launches re-election strategy on economic and social failures, which he says his opponents have no experience to remedy.

The story of Cheylard, another French town felled by the crisis

Assemblée générale de salariés. Assemblée générale de salariés.

The small town of Le Cheylard, in the Ardèche region of south-east France, has for decades enjoyed an unusual level of prosperity, essentially through the national and international success of two local companies, one a textile firm the other a jewellery-maker. But now Le Cheylard is facing sudden social death after the companies, weakened by market changes, international competition and the economic crisis, announce job cuts, shorter working weeks and the threat of delocalisation to the Far East. Rachida el Azzouzi reports from a town that is a mirror image of the dramatic industrial transformations wrecking small communities across France.

Stock markets, easy money and a game now over


The fire sweeping international stock markets brings the danger of a massive recession closer, amid frantic efforts by governments and central banks in Europe and America to ease the crisis. But, argues Martine Orange, the world of finance is starring into an abyss, only too aware that it is ‘game over' on three decades of easy money, with the public purse now empty and incapable of mounting a rescue as it did in 2008.

US loses AAA credit rating after S&P downgrade

One of the top credit rating agencies, Standard & Poor's, has downgraded the United States' top-notch AAA rating for the first time ever.

'We just lost the chance to rethink capitalism' laments Stiglitz


"The moment of rethinking capitalism in America has gone", bemoans Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel prize in economics, former World Bank chief economist and now professor of economics at Columbia University, in this exclusive interview with Mediapart. Stiglitz says the height of the current economic crisis was a lost opportunity to re-order the economy, "one of those rare moments, many of us thought a Roosevelt-ian moment" but "as soon as the fire was brought down, the political influences of the banks came back."

Does Europe need austerity?


Across Europe, governments have brought in massive budget cuts totalling up to 400 billion euros to stem rising deficits. Ministers say the cuts are necessary to bring about economic stability and reassure the markets. Critics say they are unjust, hitting the poorest the hardest, and unsound, marking a return to failed economic dogmas of the past. So are these so-called austerity plans really unavoidable? What do all these billions in announced savings really represent - and could these drastic plans in fact kill off any return to economic growth?