The latest unemployment figures for France reveal that in December the number of jobless rose for the 20th consecutive month to reach a total of 3,132,900, bringing the number of people made unemployed during 2012 to 284,600. The socialist government has announced a barrage of measures to alleviate the trend, which it underlines began well before it came to power last May. But, as Rachida El Azzouzi reports, the initiatives have come under fire from labour unions and economists as being superficial and incapable of reversing the rise in unemployment that is expected this year to reach a historic high.
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.
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.
The number of people living in poverty in France is likely to top the 10 million mark in 2013, indicate the results of a report by the French national institute of statistics and economic studies, INSEE, published this month. The fast-rising trend of those falling into financial and social distress is revealed in the institute’s latest study of living standards in the country, which fell for all categories of the population, except for the richest 5 per cent, while poverty increased sharply, especially among the young. Mediapart's economics and finance specialist Laurent Mauduit analyses the disturbing figures.
by Laurent Mauduit
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