As we enter the French presidential campaign season, the Economist
complained that the candidates were ignoring the economy, the FT had an article with the headline of Sarkozy to campaign on public finances
President Nicolas Sarkozy put controlling the country's public finances at the centre of his re-election campaign, saying France faced a "historic choice" if it wanted to avoid sliding into economic crisis like Spain or Greece.
Unveiling a 32-point programme on Thursday that detailed tax and spending plans for the next five years, he promised to eliminate France's chronic budget deficit in 2016 and return the country to a budget surplus in 2017 for the first time in more than 40 years.
"Some countries are on the edge of a precipice today," Mr Sarkozy told a press conference in Paris. "We cannot refuse to make the historic choice of competitiveness, innovation and reducing public spending."
"The situation which our Spanish friends are experiencing, after what our Greek friends experienced, remind us of the realities," he added.
In concert with his economic focus, Sarkozy released a 34 page manifesto
that told French citizens the way it is, with little sugar coating.
Starting on page 16, he recounts the economic difficulties that France has experienced in the last few years. For those who don't read French, here are the original, along with the English version from Google Translate:
En 2011 enfin, la crise de la dette des Etats a failli faire disparaître l'euro. L'euro n'a pas tenu toutes ses promesses, c'est un fait, mais rien n'aurait été pire que son implosion. C'eût été le saut dans l'inconnu, l'Europe divisée, de nombreuses banques en faillite, des millions d'épargnants cherchant à retirer leurs liquidités, les Etats, dont la France, obligés d'emprunter à des taux rédhibitoires, et de réduire en conséquence leurs dépenses de façon brutale tout en augmentant lourdement les impôts.
Finally in 2011, the debt crisis of the States has threatened the existence of the euro. The euro has not kept its promises, it is a fact, but nothing was worse than his implosion. It would have been jumping into the unknown, Europe divided, many failed banks, millions of investors seeking to withdraw their cash, states, including France, forced to borrow at prohibitive rates, and consequently reduce their costs while increasing brutally heavy taxes.
The recession would have been even greater violence. That's why I did everything to save the euro and to save Greece.