Sarkozy criticises Anglo-Saxon economies again
In his latest comments, the French President says France will come through the crisis better than other countries.PARIS – French President Nicolas Sarkozy boasted once again Wednesday that under his leadership France's economic outlook was better than that of Britain, one week after a previous jibe annoyed London.
Defending his own economic recovery plan during a meeting with trade unionists, Sarkozy also noted that France's social welfare provisions are sizeably larger than those of "Anglo Saxon countries".
"The situation in France is serious but we are coping and we will come through this better than other countries," Sarkozy said, noting that France's economy had shrunk by less than that of Britain, Spain or Japan.
"When problems arise our safety nets and automatic stabilisers play a crucial role, much more so than in other countries, for example Anglo-Saxon countries," he said, using a French term for the English-speaking world.
The French economy shrank 1.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, while in Britain it slipped 1.5 percent in the same period after dropping 0.6 percent in the third, the French leader pointed out.
Sarkozy also bragged that France's social welfare budget - which he put at EUR 550 billion or 31 percent of gross national product - was the most generous in the word.
"France entered the crisis later than other countries and is withstanding the shock better than its partners," Sarkozy said.
Earlier in February, Sarkozy's office contacted Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown to mend fences after a previous attempt to defend his handling of the economy to his own electorate was interpreted as a dig at his neighbour.
Downing Street was annoyed that Sarkozy had declared that Brown's decision to cut sales tax by two percent, a key plank in Britain's recovery strategy "had had absolutely no effect".
[AFP / Expatica]