Sunday 23 April 2017

Catherine Bremer: Moody’s move shows Hollande’s ‘softly’ pace may be too slow

AFTER six months keeping the world guessing about whether he had a vision for fixing France's sickly economy, President Francois Hollande has unveiled a battle plan "à la française" to ease companies' labour costs and trim public spending.

But the softly-softly pace of adjustment may be too slow to satisfy financial markets after Moody's on Monday became the second credit ratings agency to strip Paris of its AAA rating, citing both a loss of competitiveness and low growth.

Hollande's "competitiveness pact" aims to create 300,000 jobs and lift output by half a percent over five years by granting €20bn a year in corporate tax relief and pruning public spending by 1 percent.

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