Friday, August 31, 2007


Sarkozy Urges French to Play ‘the Game of Globalization’

PARIS, Aug. 30 — In a country that has long resisted globalization, President Nicolas Sarkozy bluntly told France on Thursday to stop kidding itself and face up to it — but in a French way.

  • to adopt business-friendly policies to allow French companies to compete better in the world,
  • even if the changes upset those clinging to France’s generous welfare system
  • (and those clinging to) strong job protection.

But he also echoed themes sounded by predecessors, saying
  • but, the free market (is) an illusion
  • the government (has to) defend French interests from foreign marauders.
  • play the game of globalization collectively,” “
  • to defend our interests when all the others are defending theirs?”

he chose the campus of a business school and a business audience to outline his economic program. France’s political class has preferred to be seen with philosophers and intellectuals.

  • among the business leaders, ... “he was one of us.”
  • Labor unions and leftist opposition politicians, ... appeared to concur. “He is the president of the CAC 40,” said Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a Socialist senator, referring to the French stock market index.
  • push for additional cuts in payroll taxes and ways to
  • encourage people to work beyond the statutory 35-hour workweek.
  • cut the maximum tax burden to 50 percent of personal income and
  • scrap taxes on overtime pay.
  • changes to the labor code, easing rules that make it cumbersome for companies to fire people.
  • to ease the restrictions on firing while still providing some protections for workers.

No comments: