Hollande is ready to take any risk to help save the French economy

06 Jan 2015

Hollande is ready to take any risk to help save the French economy

President Francois Hollande said on Monday he would take “any risk” to boost French economic growth above the government's forecast 1% in 2015, in a bid to cut unemployment with help from economic reforms.

Hollande said he would continue to pursue growth via economic reforms despite very low approval ratings and two local elections coming up in March and December of 2015 where his Socialist Party is expected to receive a drubbing.

“I was elected on change: I will change everything that blocks, that hinders, that brakes and hampers equality and progress,” he told France Inter radio. “On this point, I will take any risk.”

The government forecasts growth will rise to 1.7% in 2016.

Unemployment stood at a record 3,488,300 in November, up 5.8% on the year. The jobless rate was 10.4% in the third quarter. France, which has long suffered weak growth and high unemployment, is seen enjoying a modest recovery this year thanks to lower oil prices, cheap borrowing rates and a lower exchange rate for the euro.

Hollande economic reform programme has included relatively minor changes to the job training system and hiring and firing rules, as well as measures to free up competition in protected job sectors.

France has fallen behind several times on its commitment to the European Commission to bring its budget deficit under three percent of gross domestic product, pledging last year that it would reach the target by 2017.