Thursday, January 24, 2008

Plus ça change

If Sarko can change wives almost overnight, why not France:
President Nicolas Sarkozy gave the nod Wednesday to a 300-point free-market reform plan commissioned to "unleash" French growth, but vetoed several flagship measures to quell a mini-rebellion in the ruling party ranks.

....The... final report, entitled "300 proposals to change France," proposes a raft of sweeping changes, from job market deregulation to local government reform, life-long training, boosting Internet access, investing in green technologies or opening up French borders to immigration.

....Sarkozy said he was "essentially in agreement" with the commission's findings, although he stopped short of saying he would adopt them wholesale.

"Some may find your proposals frightening, I find them basically quite reasonable... Our country needs an intensive course of modernisation,"

"In a world that is changing at high speed, France has fallen behind despite its exceptional assets," he said. "By seeking to regulate everything in the smallest details, we have created a straight-jacket that prevents growth."

....As French voters fret about the cost of living, sluggish growth and the knock-on effect of the US economic slowdown, Sarkozy faces mounting pressure to deliver on his election promise to kickstart the economy.

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