Hollande's first year, promises met, broken and unfulfilled

1st May 2013, Comments 0 comments

French President Francois Hollande's election promises after a year in office:

PROMISES KEPT

- the French parliament voted on April 23 to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples

- the government managed to convince employers and unions to agree on reforms to the labour code that will give companies more flexibility in dealing with workers. A bill on the reforms is due to be adopted this month

- salaries for the president and ministers lowered by 30 percent

- the government increased taxes on the rich, including with charges on capital gains and the creation of a new 45-percent tax bracket

- new public investment bank created to help small- and medium-sized businesses

- Hollande secured the addition of a "growth pact" to the European budget treaty

- a "competitiveness pact' was introduced that included 20 billion euros in tax credits for businesses to create jobs

- retirement at 60 was re-instated for long-serving workers

- the government is subsidising the hiring of 100,000 young workers by the end of 2013

PROMISES BROKEN OR UNFULFILLED

- Hollande has struggled with his promise to turn around the French economy, with growth stagnant last year and the International Monetary Fund predicting the country will enter into a recession this year

- a cornerstone of Hollande's tax plan, a 75-percent tax rate on annual incomes above one million euros, was shot down by France's top constitutional body

- a bill to create 60,000 teaching jobs has been passed by the lower-house National Assembly, but not yet by the Senate

- the government has had to back away from promises of reducing the deficit to three percent of GDP this year due to an economic slowdown and now says it will be at 3.7 percent

- though he obtained the "growth pact" in the EU treaty, Hollande did not follow through on his vow to renegotiate the budget accord itself

- after vowing not to increase the value-added tax as it has more impact on lower-income households, the government raised the two top rates from seven to 10 percent and from 19.6 to 20 percent

- a promise to give non-EU foreigners the right to vote in local elections has been shelved indefinitely

- Hollande has vowed to reverse the rise in unemployment, now at a 16-year high, by the end of 2013


© 2013 AFP

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