Camdessus criticizes pace of reform in France

24th October 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 24 (AFP) - Former IMF head Michel Camdessus, in an interview appearing Monday, criticized the scope of economic reform in France, decrying what he called "a consensus of silence" by both the government and the opposition on the need to strengthen public finances.

PARIS, Oct 24 (AFP) - Former IMF head Michel Camdessus, in an interview appearing Monday, criticized the scope of economic reform in France, decrying what he called "a consensus of silence" by both the government and the opposition on the need to strengthen public finances.

"The government is taking steps in a great many areas -- employment for senior citizens, apprenticeships, personal services, labour contracts," said Camdessus, who last year authored a report on constraints to economic growth in France.

"All of that is consistent with what we had proposed." But he complained that while "certain measures are taken, we never explain why."

He said France was now confronting five "extremely serious" deficits in governance, public finance, growth, social cohesion and the future of Europe. He described such shortcomings as "so many traps in the future."

Camdessus, who published at the end of last year a report recommending wide-ranging reforms at the request of the then French finance minister Nicolas Sarkozy, said it was "absolutely shocking" that the country had run up a deficit in its public finances for the past 30 years.

He denounced a "consensus of silence" on necessary state reforms, chastising both the opposition and the government for inaction.

"Contrary to what they say, the external environment is favourable" to reform, he maintained.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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