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'The doom-mongers are wrong': French minister

AFP/The Local · 23 Jan 2014, 09:10

Published: 23 Jan 2014 09:10 GMT+01:00

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French finance minister Pierre Moscovici lashed out at "doom-mongers" predicting his country's economic demise, telling Thursday's Financial Times that "one can be French and take fiscal consolidation seriously."

France has reacted with indignation to a series of reports in publications including Newsweek and British business daily City AM that warned the country is on the edge of an economic catastrophe unless President Francois Hollande implements sweeping reforms to improve competitiveness and reduce the role of government in the economy.

Moscovici used his comment piece in the British business newspaper to say that plans announced by Hollande last week proved that "one can be French and take fiscal consolidation seriously."

"The doom-mongers are wrong: France is modernising and reforming," he added. "They would gladly dismiss, with a stroke of the pen, its history and its culture."

He insisted that it was possible to stick to social democrat values while boosting productivity and that he would resist calls to implement "ready-made solutions".

"France deserves better than being subject to preconceived ideas and French-bashing - it deserves the world's trust," he wrote.

Hollande announced last Tuesday 50 billion euros ($68 billion) in spending cuts between 2015 and 2017, and a 30-billion-euro reduction in corporate payroll charges, but said companies in return must create more jobs.

In defending France against the 'doom-mongers' Moscovici is following in the foot steps of the French embassy in London, who were angered over a recent article in London daily City AM. Click on the link below to see how Gallic diplomats compared France favourably to the UK in terms of health and transport and even taxes and country is not turning into "a tragedy".

Story continues below…

Ten reasons why France is not becoming a tragedy

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

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