France: New Government in Love with Bosses, Bosses in Love with New Government.
Bosses Applaud the ‘Valls Show’.
Yesterday the Parti Socialist Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, wowed the French employers’ federation (the MEDEF) summer get-together.
«Moi j’aime l’entreprise !» he said – I love Business.
Libération reports that in response to his speech bosses applauded wildly.
They said “there’s no question, he’s better than the Right” .
L’Humanité notes that Valls told the audience,
France needs you. The return to growth will come above all by supporting businesses, “said the Prime Minister to the cheers of hundreds of entrepreneurs. He wanted to reassure them about their future profits, repeating, as he had done the day after the announcement of the composition of the new government, that he was confident of getting the support of the majority to vote for his “pact of responsibility.”(1)
The is intervention comes just after France’s President, François Hollande, and PM Valls, formed a new Cabinet – just a few months after they launched one after disastrous local (losing control of 150 towns) and European election results in which the Front National topped the polls at 24.86%.
Valls own present popularity stands at 36% in opinion polls, with his own chief, Hollande, gets around 17% of favourable responses.
The New Cabinet is dominated by those aligned to the ‘social-liberal’ wing of the Socialists.
A principal reason for the switch-over was that left-wingers, notably former Economy Minister, Arnaud Montebourg, and one of the education Ministers, Benoît Hamon refused to back austerity measures.
A group of Socialist “frondeurs” (rebels) had emerged earlier this year when the Pacte de reponsabilité (which essentially makes concessions to employers’ demands for ‘flexibility’ in the labour market) was first put forward by President François Hollande. Battles inside the government led nowhere.
“I will follow the example of Cincinnatus,” Mr. Montebourg said, in reference to the modest Roman statesman, “who preferred to quit power to return to his fields and plows.”
It will not have escaped many people’s attention that Montebourg received 17,19 % of the Vote in the 2011 ‘primaries’ to decide who should represent the party as a presidential candidate. (2)
The present Prime Minister, Manuel Valls got 5,63 % in the same contest.
Montebourg’s ideas include proposals for a more democratic “sixth republic”, and a critique of globalisation (more, in English, here).
In response to the star-reception of the PM by the MEDEF Thierry Lepaon the leader of the left-wing union federation, the CGT, denounced the way the new government was “mixing” the role of the State and that of the bosses’ federation.
Criticising the MEDEF’s claims that its own plans would create a million new jobs he noted that the state already gave extensive grants to companies without proper control, and that many firms had given big dividends to shareholders at a time when they were pleading fir more public help. By contrast there seems little attention paid to the needs of young people, the retired, the unemployed and workers in the government’s plans.
This morning news emerged from new Minister of the Economy, Emmanuel Macron, that the government intends to consolidate its rightward shift by loosening the laws regulating the length of the working week (based on a 35 hour standard). The regulations on Sunday working will also be liberalised.
France 24 paints the economic backdrop to the crisis of the French Socialist-led government.
The labour ministry said there were now 3.424 million people out of work, an increase of around 26,000. It was the ninth consecutive rise in the monthly unemployment figures.
“This rise reflects zero growth in the eurozone and in France,” Labour Minister François Rebsamen said in a statement.
France, Europe’s second biggest economy, is battling a political and economic crisis seen as the worst since Hollande took power more than two years ago.
Growth has ground to a halt in the first six months of the year and Hollande has been unable to live up to his promise to bring down unemployment.
His strategy for pulling France out of the mire is his much-vaunted Responsibility Pact, which will cut social charges for businesses by 40 billion euros ($53 billion) in exchange for them creating 500,000 jobs by 2017.
(1) Le pacte de responsabilité , an agreement to reduce social charges in companies (that is, to cut employer contributions to social insurance), ‘modernise’ taxation, and ‘simplify’ labour laws. It’s reported today that the employers’ federation,m the MEDEF, is already working on a plan, France 2020, with the agreement of the ‘social-liberal’ union, the CFDT, to weaken labour legislation on companies with more than 50 employees.
|Candidates||Parties||1st round||2nd round|
|François Hollande||Socialist Party (Parti socialiste)||PS||1,038,207||39.17%||1,607,268||56.57%|
|Martine Aubry||Socialist Party (Parti socialiste)||PS||806,189||30.42%||1,233,899||43.43%|
|Arnaud Montebourg||Socialist Party (Parti socialiste)||PS||455,609||17.19%|
|Ségolène Royal||Socialist Party (Parti socialiste)||PS||184,096||6.95%|
|Manuel Valls||Socialist Party (Parti socialiste)||PS||149,103||5.63%|
|Jean-Michel Baylet||Radical Party of the Left (Parti Radical de Gauche)||PRG||17,055||0.64%|
|Spoilt and null votes||11,025||0.41%||18,990||0.66%|
|Table of results ordered by number of votes received in first round, complete results on resultats.lesprimairescitoyennes.fr.|
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