France is bankrupt and can no longer afford to pay its workers generous salaries and subsidies, its prime minister has declared.
Francois Fillon made the undiplomatic outburst during a trip to the French island of Corsica, where farmers were demanding more government money.
“I am at the head of a state that is in a position of bankruptcy,” he said.
The head of the European Central Bank agrees, and
has attacked France for being Europe’s “number one spender”.
Mr Trichet warned that in comparison to its GDP, the country was well on the way to spending much more than its European neighbours during 2007.
Sarko is pushing for deficit reform, which puts him at odds with the EU guidelines,
The French leader wants to cut taxes, a move that means France will breach a rule set by the EU on public deficits.
Mr Sarkozy argues France needs to cut taxes by 11bn euros (£7.5bn) to tackle its spiralling unemployment problem.
But Baron Bodissey notices a pattern here:
French politics seem to be much like American politics: as soon as anyone points out the damage done by excessive government spending, the Left is quick to cite the most recent tax cut as the source of the problem.
It’s the first commandment of Socialism: Thou shalt never, ever cut taxes.
In this case, it was a “centrist” who decried the tax cuts, but that only proves how much of the European “center” has been occupied by the Left.
In not unrelated news, Sarko is in New York this week, but before leaving Paris he an interview to the NYT/IHT, making himself absolutely clear:
For Mr. Sarkozy, the most burning issue is Iran’s nuclear program. France’s position, he said, is clear: “No nuclear weapon for Iran, an arsenal of sanctions to convince them, negotiations, discussions, firmness. And I don’t want to hear anything else that would not contribute usefully to the discussion today.”
And he’s not playing the Iranians’ game:
He equally refused to choose between a nuclear-armed Iran and the use of force, saying, “It is exactly what the Iranian leaders want. I am not obliged to fall into this trap.”
From the looks of this, Sarko’s not going to issue empty threats. He’s just going to do.
On a postscript,
The brusque demeanor and nonstop movement during the interview vanished during a brief photo session afterward in his office. At one point, he posed for a photograph with the two women who interviewed him, gripping his arms around their shoulders. “I have a good job,” he said.
I wonder if he allows interviews by women bloggers…
In the no-news news, Schroeder, Chirac and Putin are in bed together.
Captain Ed is getting Iranian spam.