• France's news in English

'Now is France's moment to recover or decline'

AFP/The Local · 11 Sep 2014, 12:17

Published: 11 Sep 2014 12:17 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The crisis-hit French economy is facing its "hour of recovery or decline," the head of its central bank said on Thursdaywarning the economy would stay stuck if the government did not implement immediate economic reform.

"France is not beyond repair but this is the hour of recovery or decline. We have to choose and, of course, we have to choose recovery," Christian Noyer told French radio.

France, the eurozone's second-largest economy, is suffering a major crisis, with zero growth in the first two quarters of the year, record unemployment and a ballooning deficit that Paris admitted on Wednesday will break EU rules until 2017.

"If we don't do the reforms, French growth will stay less than one percent. If we don't do it, we will stay at zero growth and ten-percent unemployment," judged Noyer.

"There is no alternative to reforms that raise the growth potential of the economy that have been announced. Indeed, there is no Plan B," the governor added.

On Wednesday, the government unveiled a raft of disappointing economic news, cutting its growth forecasts drastically for this year and next, and admitted it would break its promise to the EU to reduce its budget deficit to three percent of output by next year.

Paris sees economic growth at 0.4 percent this year, recovering slightly to one percent next year -- a dramatic reduction from the one percent and 1.7 percent previously forecast.

The deeply unpopular government of President Francois Hollande is pinning its hopes on its grand economic strategy of the Responsibility Pact -- a programme of tax breaks for businesses and spending cuts.

Story continues below…

But Noyer urged a faster pace to the €50 billion ($66 billion) spending cuts planned over three years.

"We need to make major cuts in spending. We're going too softly," said the governor.

AFP/The Local (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available