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Author: 2828 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 734559  
Subject: France Finally Taking Back Their Future Date: 11/14/2012 4:33 PM
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http://hotair.com/archives/2012/11/14/french-ceos-so-were-ki...

Over the past few weeks, an extraordinary cry of alarm has risen from chief executives who warn that the French economy has gone dangerously off track. In an interview to be published on Nov. 15 in the magazine l’Express, Chief Executive Officer Henri de Castries of financial-services group Axa (CS:FP) warns that France is rapidly losing ground, not only against Germany but against nearly all its European neighbors. “There’s a strong risk that in 2013 and 2014, we will fall behind economies such as Spain, Italy, and Britain,” de Castries says.

On Nov. 5, veteran corporate chieftain Louis Gallois released a government-commissioned report calling for “shock treatment” to restore French competitiveness. And on Oct. 28, a group of 98 CEOs published an open letter to Hollande that said public-sector spending, which at 56 percent of gross domestic product is the highest in Europe, “is no longer supportable.” The letter was signed by the CEOs of virtually every major French company. …

The problems they’re complaining about aren’t new. Heavy taxes and social charges required to support high government spending have eroded corporate profitability. In the l’Express interview, de Castries says that on average, the government charges incurred by his company for each employee are more than double the employee’s take-home pay. French labor costs are the second-highest in Europe, after Belgium, as companies are burdened with rigid and devilishly complicated work rules. No surprise, then, that operating margins at French companies have shrunk almost 40 percent over the past decade…
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It's good they finally got rid of the conservative obstruction in, er, France. Now they can take the training wheels off and let the bicycle collapse onto the sidewalk in a heap.
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