Fun in France
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Thread: Fun in France

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default Fun in France

    Montebourg, who nearly brought down PSA for political ends became briefly Minister for the Economy. Yesterday he staged a putsch which failed. He has quit and the Government has been dissolved. the President and Prime Minister have been working overnight to find people willing to serve in a restructured Government, to be announced today.

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    I've been following it on the news; I admit to wishing (in the way one likes to watch car crash videos) sometimes that we had governments like that.

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    A new president might be a better idea.

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    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    I've been following it on the news; I admit to wishing (in the way one likes to watch car crash videos) sometimes that we had governments like that.
    We did. Caeser was knifed and Julia took over.

    In NSW we are more civil. The poisoned chalice is passed and dated, just in case the receiver feigns forgetfulness of the deed.


    John

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    We lack glamour and scandal. France had Ségolène Royal, we get Jacquie Lambie.

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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    A new president might be a better idea.
    I didn't know we already had one?
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Now is not the time for a dissolution of the Parliament or the resignation of the Président. The confused and disillusioned public according to the surveys would probably elect Le Pen, which would be a move to the Ultra Right, racism and isolationism which won't work either. The Centre needs time to regroup into credible parties and offer a maketable choice.
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    On contraire, pistonpuss.

    I think they should elect Le Pen just to understand once and for all that he needs to be removed forever. Which he would probably be presto.

    Weak governments bear more weak governments. A strong extremist government would not last more than a fortnight and then a stronger "normal" government would follow (hopefully).

    That is if I understand history and social psychology at all. None of which I am sure about.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    On contraire, pistonpuss.

    I think they should elect Le Pen just to understand once and for all that he needs to be removed forever. Which he would probably be presto.


    That is if I understand history and social psychology at all. None of which I am sure about.

    gerry is referring to his daughter.

    as i see it, marine le pen is 'isolationist' in the sense of wanting france to have its own currency and its own rules. at least that is consistent: if you want to have your own rules, you need to have your own currency and manage your own economy. the current government wants the impossible: its own rules and manage its own economy AND be part of a currency bloc. it is still isolationist, but in a context which cannot work.

    ultimately, if the single currency is to 'work', then every country needs to be a carbon copy of its neighbors. that of course will never happen.

    whatever happens, the french government will be much better off without a big mouthed trouble maker like Montebourg in its midst. his political position is slightly to the left of Lenin, so having him as an Economy Minister in a modern market economy is little more than a joke. at least Hollande, of course a socialist, has enough sense to understand when socialist policies cant work.
    Last edited by alexander; 27th August 2014 at 09:04 AM.
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Yes, I was referring to Marine Le Pen. Her father Jean-Marie is still very much alive and had a public spat with her recently over anti-semitism. He is the Président d'Honneur of their politcal party the Front National.
    The government is announced. It is centre Left as one might expect. I see no signs that they can reduce the public spend and hence deficit. However the experience has created a tighter group more likely to work together with a bit more discipline. The politics that saw them elected makes it very hard for them to address the core issues of the French economic crisis. Meanwhile expect still more of the "French" car companies' investments to be elsewhere.
    The Chinese government has just formally approved the fourth PSA-Dongfeng factory in Sechuan, which will be making 4WD and crossovers mainly for the Chinese market.
    The flaw in the Eurozone remains. Politicians across Europe are unwilling to see even more of their powers stripped away by the transfer of fiscal policies to the Euro administrators. Without that, it is an unstable concept and very vulnerable to serious damage should a country mismanaged like France be forced into default. France's national debt has passed 2 Trillion Euros and is still rising.
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    America's 'Debt' is currently $17-Trillion...and rising.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StephineS View Post
    America's 'Debt' is currently $17-Trillion...and rising.
    I do wonder whether America will ever pay off its debt. Or even just meet the interest payments so that the value of the debt effectively falls. Likewise for a number of European countries.

    Via the aussiefrogs App

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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    America will get others to pay.

    Because they're terrorists, of course.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlitzaugen View Post
    On contraire, pistonpuss.

    I think they should elect Le Pen just to understand once and for all that he needs to be removed forever. Which he would probably be presto.

    Weak governments bear more weak governments. A strong extremist government would not last more than a fortnight and then a stronger "normal" government would follow (hopefully).
    That is if I understand history and social psychology at all. None of which I am sure about.

    They are not likely to stay within democratic boundaries that would allow their removal. Commentators are comparing the situation with the way that Hitler came into power through an election and then changed the rules. It took the death of tens of millions before his "electorate" tried to remove him by assassination and then it needed most of the world's military resources to do it.

    At a more relevant level, the continuation of investment in car manufacture in France depends on reducing operating costs. Hollande came up a "pact of responsibility" in which the French business leaders agreed to support employment if the public service and other costs were brought down to a competitive level. Hollande commited to cut their costs by 17 billion euros a year from 2017. So far there has been no success in passing the changes necessary to do this.
    The July economic figures have just come out and they are all pointing the wrong way. The initial public response to the new government according to today's polls is 80% have no faith that this latest rearrangement of chairs can work either.
    Last edited by gerry freed; 27th August 2014 at 07:12 PM.
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    I'll bet those commentators come from well to the left though (ie, from the people who benefit from the muck-up). France could probably do with another Margaret Thatcher, if only one could be found.
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Her name crops up a lot in discussions on how to reduce the influence of the Unions in line with their actual membership base. I think that the overall problem (and it goes well beyond France) is that the best leaders and managers do not go into politics any more. When you look around the active names in politics there is no sign of a leader like her in France that would not take the society to extremes.
    We have already seen 1930's style punch ups in the fringes of street demonstrations where young thugs of the ultra right take on their counterparts in the radical left. This behaviour marred the demonstrations against marriage for all, for example.
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    funny you say.....



    Business - French businesses ?hoping for a new Thatcher? - France 24

    French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Text by Sam BALL
    Latest update : 2014-08-28
    With the government in turmoil and the country’s economy in the doldrums, the mood at a gathering of thousands of French business leaders on Wednesday was a mix of frustration and cautious optimism.

    For six months now, the French economy has remained at a standstill, growth forecasts have been slashed, unemployment has soared to record highs and the public deficit has ballooned well above national and EU targets.

    The French government seems to have decided it's time to take action.

    At the annual meeting of members of France’s Medef employers’ federation on Wednesday, Prime Minister Manuel Valls outlined the government’s new pro-business stance in unequivocal terms and cop a U-turn from the leftist financial policies that swept Socialist President François Hollande to power in 2012.

    “Entrepreneurs, France needs you,” he said to much applause. “I love business,” he added.

    "I know that the (political) left and the business world are customarily opposed; it's an old tune. But I deeply believe that our country needs to shake off this position, these role-plays that we are so used to," said Valls.

    "It has made us lose too much time, and our country is dying because of these positions."

    Just talk?

    Outside the auditorium, chatter among the business owners, executives and entrepreneurs that make up Medef’s members centred on whether the change of tack from the government they had been asking for so long was really here, or just an illusion.

    “Personally, I’m feeling positive,” said Guillaume Belhommet, director of Sensus Marketing, a start-up based near Nantes in western France.

    “I’m optimistic because the reaction of our government has been positive. As Mr Valls said, the engine of the economy, which are the companies, have to be liberated, the government understands they need to change.”

    VALLS: FRANCE NEEDS ITS BUSINESSES

    However, not everyone is convinced by the government’s new business-friendly approach. Some wonder if it may be a case of lots of talk, but little action.

    “Valls clearly has a new way of talking,” said Gilles Richard, managing director of the UFCC employers’ federation for the chemical industry. “But a couple of years ago he was saying the opposite. There’s no way to know if it’s real or just talk, if it’s just political.”

    ‘We are hoping for a French Thatcher’

    Valls’ speech came just two days after the government was plunged into a crisis described as the lowest point in Hollande’s tenure. It came when his then-Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg let rip on the government’s gradual switch to austerity-driven, increasingly pro-business economic policies.

    Among his gripes was Hollande’s ‘responsibility pact’ – a host of measures unveiled earlier this year which include tax-breaks for companies that hire new workers and 50 billion euros worth of spending cuts.

    Montebourg’s comments prompted Valls to tender the government's resignation and enact an urgent cabinet reshuffle.

    The choice to replace Montebourg was telling. The veteran left-wing firebrand has made way for 36-year-old former banker Emmanuel Macron, another move aimed at sending out a clear pro-business message.

    Xavier Galezowski, a senior consultant at Ernst and Young, believes the government’s change of heart is a “clear signal that the left is reconsidering the fact that they have to be pragmatic” when it comes to businesses and the economy.

    “There is too much ideology,” he says. “French people have had enough of ideology. We just hope it’s not only words.”

    Even if the government does follow through on its promises, it may not be enough, Galezowski believes.

    “Cutting taxes, for example, is a good sign, but my only worry is that we won’t go fast enough, or far enough."

    “I think that in many ways we are hoping to have someone like Margaret Thatcher in France,” he says, referring to the Britain’s “Iron Lady” Prime Minister famous for her policies of economic deregulation, privatisation and decreasing the power of trade unions.

    ‘Don’t expect anything from the government’

    In his speech Valls stressed the importance of small businesses to the French economy in particular.

    “These are the businesses that create jobs,” he said. “And we are lucky in France to have one of the most dynamic pools of start-up businesses in the world.”

    But some owners of such companies feel the government is doing more to hinder, rather than help, their progress.

    As much as tax breaks and deficit reduction are welcome, what’s really needed is consistency in government policy, says Caroline Geraud, director of My Web Marketing, a company based near Montpellier in southern France.

    “It’s not our job to follow every change in government financial policy. We spend so much time learning new policies and then they change again.”

    She is not getting carried away with the new business-friendly rhetoric of Valls and Hollande.

    “As a business owner, you shouldn’t expect anything from the government in France,” says Geraud.

    “It’s better just to concentrate on your own customers, your own business. [Anything else they might do for us] is a bonus.”

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    The scene has arrived at a stalemate. The ultra left abstained from a vote of confidence but the government held. With a very real risk of the FN ultra right gaining the Presidency if there was an election now, the political class has to hold the present scene together until a more moderate right opposition can be built up. Sarkozy, the previous President, has re-entered politics and is gathering his forces to lead such a grouping. At the municipal and European elections earlier this year, the left who are in government lost heavily to the gain of the FN. They now being for popularist reasons anti-Europe and now have significant representation of France in the European Parliament to be a blocking force.
    We have just had the Senate elections which is a compulsory vote of some super voters derived from the elected at the municipal and regional level. They now having shifted to the right and far right and so elected sufficient moderate right Senators to put the Government in a minority position in the Senate. In addition they voted in the first two FN senators.
    Net result is not unfamiliar to the present Australian government with a potentially disruptive Senate. Hollande has responded by saying that he hopes that the senators will exercise their wisdom to allow his reforms to go through.
    Last week's long strike of Air France/KLM pilots, which is hampering reforms to make them competitive and tomorrow's strike of pharmacists trying to protect their monopoly, have led to opposition comments that the French are incapable of reform.
    This booklet coming out next month may help to understand the gulf between the public and the political class which is blocking change.
    http://teleobs.nouvelobs.com/actuali...e-francais.htm

    What does all this mean to the auto industry?
    It doesn't look like employment costs are going to be reduced easily this decade in France and so it is suggested that PSA has to cut the hours of manual work per vehicle by 25% to stay in the race. The industry is hopeful that by 2020, annual global sales will be 100 million vehicles giving further scale economies to those best placed in the growth markets to gain the sales. Traditional markets in developed economies are expected to flatten to replacement levels as personal vehicle ownership saturates. In Europe where France is leading the pack, there are strategies in place to reduce such ownership by providing new alternative transport solutions for urban needs.
    Last edited by gerry freed; 1st October 2014 at 07:40 PM.
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