FE Editorial : Après nous, le déluge
France has, on its own, done enough to deserve the ratings cut. Over the past four quarters, it has grown just 0.1%, a killer when its debt exceeds 90% of GDP, the latter a result of the fact that the country has not balanced a single budget since 1974, The Economist tells us. François Hollande, not surprisingly given his election spiel was about ending austerity, appears in no hurry to fix things. Meanwhile, he has slapped a 75% tax rate on high-income earners (only Indira Gandhi’s 98% tax betters this), nothing has been done to cut the 35-hour week, there has been a partial rollback on increasing the retirement age, and doubling the capital gains tax got Bernard Arnault, the richest man in France, applying for Belgian citizenship.
The worsening French situation comes on top of the eurozone slipping into double-dip recession—it contracted 0.3% in Q4 2011, 0% in Q1 2012, 0.2% in Q2 and 0.1% in Q3, with BNP Paribas now betting the
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