France

French Business Slams Hollande Over Tax Grab

The economy is already stagnant

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President Francois Hollande is drawing fire from French business leaders after his latest effort to revamp the nation's economy leaned on what many of them say was all too easy: higher taxes.

Hollande's proposal to fix France's pension system—under which working lives will be extended to 43 years by 2035 from 41 years currently—banks on up-front savings coming from raising contributions to the system over the next four years.

The plan drew squeals from executives in a country where the current government and its predecessor have increased taxes by 70 billion euros ($93 billion) in the past three years and the economy has barely grown. France's tax burden was 46.3 percent of gross domestic product last year, finance ministry figures show. It was the third-highest among developed nations after Denmark and Sweden in 2011, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.