Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Israeli strikes on Gaza as seen on social media

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

World Cup humiliation for host nation

Read more

DEBATE

Israel and the Palestinians: How to Break the Cycle of Violence?

Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

  • Both candidates say they won Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Brazil players should never wear 'sacred uniform' again, press says

    Read more

  • Exiled Syrian opposition elects new president

    Read more

  • Ukraine imposes new conditions on peace talks with pro-Russia rebels

    Read more

French premier confident despite slowing economy

©

Latest update : 2008-08-18

At a special meeting of six key ministers, French Prime Minister François Fillon said it was "not fair" to talk about an economic recession in France. On Thursday, official figures showed a drop in France's second-quarter growth.

Read analysis by FRANCE 24's Douglas Herbert: "Honey, I shrank the economy"



Paris (AFP) - Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Monday dismissed fears of a looming recession in France and said there was no need for a stimulus package to keep the economy growing.
   
Fillon held a special meeting of six key ministers to consider action after new figures showed a sharp drop in French economic growth in the second quarter.
   
"It is not fair to talk about a recession," Fillon told a news conference following the meeting, adding he was confident France would register positive growth in 2008.
   
"We do not need a stimulus plan which would be an artificial plan," he said.
   
Instead, France needs structural reform to be better equipped to confront pressures from the volatile global economy, he said.
   
The prime minister called for a Europe-wide "coordinated response" to international economic turmoil and suggested this could be discussed at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Nice on September 12 and 13.
   
"We have a common economic space, a common currency," which makes coordination "indispensable," said Fillon.
   
For the first time since 2002, France's gross domestic product (GDP) contracted, by 0.3 percent, in the second quarter, prompting Fillon to summon ministers ahead of a full cabinet meeting on Thursday.
   
Economists say France will be in a full-blown recession if the growth figures continue to drop in the third quarter.
   
Economics Minister Christine Lagarde, Trade Minister Anne-Marie Idrac and four other key government members met Fillon to analyse the causes of the slowdown and identify responses, a statement from the prime minister's office said earlier.
   
The Bank of France meanwhile forecast growth for the third quarter at just 0.1 percent.
   
The government was hoping to achieve growth of between 1.7 percent and 2.0 percent in 2008, despite criticism from economists who say the actual outcome will likely be closer to 1.0 percent.
   
Fillon said the government would revise its growth forecast when it submits its 2009 budget in the coming weeks but that it would stick to the goal of keeping the public deficit at 2.5 percent of GDP in 2008.
   
The Socialist opposition has called on President Nicolas Sarkozy to go back on billions of euros in tax breaks that were doled out in a fiscal stimulus package adopted soon after his election in May 2007.
   
"We are not in a recession but we are feeling the effects of a brutal, difficult crisis", said Socialist Didier Migaud, chairman of the parliamentary finance committee.
   
"The problem is that we have extremely limited room to manoeuvre because we have wasted quite a bit over the past year. So maybe we should have the courage to put the fiscal package back on the table," Migaud said on France Inter radio.
   
Consumer Affairs Minister Luc Chatel separately said the government was committed to reform despite the disappointing growth figures.
   
"This is one more reason to enact reform," said Chatel.
   
While the government wants to cut spending, it will not opt for tough austerity measures because "this would asphyxiate the economy at a time when it frankly doesn't need this," he said.
   
The INSEE statistics office on Thursday said output had recoiled under global pressures in the second quarter, contracting by 0.3 percent.
   
INSEE had previously forecast that the economy would grow 0.2 percent in the second quarter.
   

Date created : 2008-08-18

Comments

COMMENT(S)