French, Italian economies send mixed messages

International — Link

The two large eurozone economies both post conflicting signs, with flickers of improvement tempered by steadily rising unemployment.

France loses 30,000 more jobs in November

France — Link

Figures released Thursday show a rise in the French jobless rate for the nineteenth consecutive month, and the forecast is for worse to come.

Shirt-maker's woes dress challenges for an economy snagging at the seams

France — Link

In a once flourishing textile-producing region in central France, the challenges facing a small shirt-manufacturer paint a broader economic picture.

Government-commissioned report says France must slash labour costs

France — Link

President François Hollande is urged by both a government-commissioned report by former EADS boss, and by the IMF, to slash employment costs.

Leading French economists sound alarm over Hollande's deficit target


Ahead of a vote in parliament next month, the French cabinet on Wednesday approved adoption of the European fiscal treaty, the TSCG, which will require governments to limit their public deficits to 0.5 percent of gross domestic product. To prepare to meet the target, French President François Hollande has pledged to reduce the country’s huge public deficit to 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2013, with a raft of spending cuts and tax increases contained in a new public finances law to be presented before parliament on September 28th. It represents the most severe austerity programme to be introduced in France for 50 years. But a number of leading French economists, including several who publicly supported Hollande’s election campaign, now warn of the potentially catastrophic effects of the tough austerity programme. They argue that the policies will further starve economic growth and thereby simply worsen public finances, leading to a never-ending spiral of recession and austerity. Lénaïg Bredoux reports.

Fighting the organised crime of tax evasion

International — Analysis

Earlier this month it was revealed that French tycoon Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury goods firm LVMH, the wealthiest person in France and the fourth wealthiest worldwide, has applied for dual Belgian nationality. The French conservative opposition was quick to cite it as an example of the flight of capital that will follow higher taxes the government is to impose on the country’s top income earners, while President François Hollande decried Arnault's lack of patriotism. Mediapart Editor-in-Chief Edwy Plenel sets out here how tax evasion has become a colossal and insitutionalised business at the centre of the economy. Fighting it has never been more urgent, yet little effort - if any - is being made to prevent it or to sanction those who are bleeding society of vital resources.  

France cuts fuel prices to boost economy

Économie et social — Link

Government has struck a deal with fuel suppliers to cut petrol and diesel prices by 6 euro cents a litre for the next three months.

Germany and France agree approach on closer European integration

International — Link

French and German finance ministries to launch a working group to make joint proposals on issues such as fiscal and banking union.

Hollande's political honeymoon ends between a rock and a hard place

France — Link

French President François Hollande's approval rating sinks as he tries to square the circle of deficit reduction, economic growth and EU commitments.

France 2012 growth forecast cut to 0.4%

France — Link

The national statistics institute says growth this year will be slightly less than the 0.5 percent previously forecast and budgeted by the government.

France raises minimum wage

France — Link

Government announced the first real-terms increase in the minimum wage for six years but limited the rise to 0.6 percentage points above inflation.

France says determined to improve budget credibility

International — Link

New finance minister Pierre Moscovici says there has been a lack of credibility for France over the public deficit and adds: "We're being watched".

Economic constraints dampen French election promises

France — Link

The French presidential election campaign has laid bare the decline in the nation's public finances and lack of wiggle room for next head of state.

French economy grinds to a halt

France — Link

The French economy posted no growth in the first quarter and there are no signs of a strong recovery in activity ahead, reports the Bank of France.

French public deficit shrinks in 2011

France — Link

France's public sector deficit shrank to 5.2% of GDP in 201, down from 7.1% in 2010 and beating the official target of 5.7%.