France's Socialist Government Told To Slash Spending

Credit: Matthieu Riegler/wikimediaCredit: Matthieu Riegler/wikimedia

The French government has been told by the country’s national auditor, the Cour des Comptes, that it must slash public spending. The Cour des Comptes has projected that France will exceed its deficit target of 3.7 percent for 2013.

 From the BBC

Francois Hollande's government aims to reduce public spending by 13bn euros in 2014 and 15bn euros in 2015 by cutting state aid and local government budgets.But the influential Cour des Comptes said this was not enough."(France's) deficits remain higher than the eurozone and European Union average. There must be no slackening in this effort and the focus from now on must be on spending," the body said.

The French government spends 56 percent of GDP, making it one the highest spending governments in the European Union. France’s vast public sector and punitively high tax rates have lead to a situation where growth is forecast at a pitiful 0.1 percent. Since President Francois Hollande was elected to office in 2012 his government's policies toward the private sector have been close to vindictive. From attempts to introduce a 75 percent tax rate on the rich to petulant threats of nationalization against entrepreneurs. Private industry and wealth creation have been alien concepts to the socialist administration.  

While many Eurozone countries have endeavoured to reduce the size of their public sectors France has taken a typically leisurely attitude toward the pace of deficit reduction. The European Commission has already granted France a two-year extension to reduce its deficit to under 3 percent of GDP.
Public sector largesse and some of the most burdensome labour market regulations anywhere on the continent have left France not with a social democratic paradise but unemployment in the first quarter of 2012 at a staggering 10.8 percent. There was further bad news for the beleaguered socialist government as consumer confidence hit a miserable low of 78 points, significantly short of the long term average of 100.

Hollande, whose election was hailed as the beginning of the fightback against austerity has not managed to be the savior which European socialists had hoped for. Instead, he has presided over an endless list of economic failures inflicted upon the French population. Despite this Hollande has had the hubris to declare the Euro crisis over. Hollande’s declaration will be of little comfort to the 24 percent of young people unemployed across Europe.

The latest warning from the Cour des Comptes should be a clear sign that spending not austerity is the problem. In Europe’s second largest economy austerity has not even begun.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Butler||

    "Public sector largesse and some of the most burdensome labour market regulations anywhere on the continent have left France not with a social democratic paradise but unemployment in the first quarter of 2012 at a staggering 10.8 percent."

    That is a social democratic paradise.

  • ||

    56% of GDP? Holy fuck. I need to be a lot more cynical and pessimistic about the world.

  • ||

    Reality happens to everybody sooner or later.

    Speaking of France, Zahia Dehar.

  • ||

    Oh my fucking god.

  • JW||

    At least France is doing something right.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I think that video has very little to do with taxation. Let me watch a couple more times to be sure.

  • Brandybuck||

    Why is she fondling a speculum? Is she a "niche" porn star or something?

  • fried wylie||

    They stole my fembot design!

  • tarran||

    You know you are pathetic, right?

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    You mean they didn't solve their problem when they bullied Moncaco?


  • Warrren||

    Not Moncaco!

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    Yes, and Monaco*

  • Paul.||

    Guy Bentley

    Really? I picture a guy with a sweater tied around his neck, drinking 'toonies' at the tennis club.

  • Warrren||

    Or an unassuming yet rich and stylish crime-fighter.

  • albo||

    Mess with the French welfare state and you get a truckload of cabbages dumped on your lawn.

    The French will never cut back. And when their Baby Boomers retire, I'm sure the hard-working Muslim immigrants who replace them will be happy to pay higher taxes to support their infidel elders.

  • fried wylie||

    you get a truckload of cabbages dumped on your lawn

    Free Cabbage! I love coleslaw.

    They do any sort of mayo-base "vandalism" too?

  • Paul.||

    Private industry and wealth creation have been alien concepts to the socialist administration.

    And the population that voted it into office? Or do we whistle past that graveyard?

  • tarran||

    In defense of the French people, France has been a fascist country for a very long time; in fact, France was already fascist when Mussolini coined the term.

    Live in a fascist country that long, and the culture becomes hopelessly twisted and debased.

  • Warrren||

    So a compendium of the ways the smarter Frogs have used to avoid the fascism would be quite educational.*

    *For educational purposes only.

  • fried wylie||

    the focus from now on must be on spending

    When even france get's it.....

  • ExPope B.||

    just as an info: it is not correct to refer to the french government as "socialist". the french "socialiste" in the name of the corresponding party "parti socialiste" used to have a broader meaning then the English word "socialist" nowadays and a literal translation is misleading. the politics could be best described as social-democratic.

  • Acosmist||

    So not socialist, just social-democratic, which is a euphemism for socialist. ok.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties