Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The world’s dictators love the unrest in Ferguson'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Montreal Stories

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

More than half of French households will pay no income tax this year

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#IceBucketChallenge and hashtag activism

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users taking on the "Ice Bucket Challenge" to fight ALS

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • Ex-PM Juppé announces bid for 2017 French presidential race

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • IS militants ‘behead’ missing US journalist in gruesome video

    Read more

  • Deadly airstrikes hit Gaza as ceasefire with Israel collapses

    Read more

  • Tentative peace in Ferguson despite second fatal shooting

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Iraqi army clashes with militants in Tikrit after retaking key dam

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

  • ‘Let it be’: Londoners sick of Abbey Road tourists

    Read more

  • Australia to free children from immigration detention centres

    Read more

Europe

German politician slams France as eurozone's 'problem child'

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-02-22

Michael Fuchs, a leading member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats party, said Friday that France is the eurozone’s “problem child”, adding that the country must scrap its 35-hour work week and hike the age of retirement.

A leading member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives said Friday that France was a "problem child" in the eurozone and must scrap its 35-hour work week as well as push back its retirement age.

"The French must save to become more capable of acting. They must of course also make economic reforms," Michael Fuchs, deputy chairman of the Christian Democrats' parliamentary group told public radio.

"They must change the working hours. You know that the French still have the 35-hour week. That can't work when in Switzerland people work 42 hours, in Germany 40 hours," he complained on Deutschlandfunk radio.

He was speaking before the European Commission announced that France's public deficit was set to be worse than expected in 2013 and 2014, veering up to 3.7 percent of output this year and 3.9 percent next year.

The EU sets a ceiling of 3.0 percent of output.

France's wages and work ethic have been under the international spotlight this week after the head of US tyremaker Titan, Maurice Taylor, mocked French workers for putting in only "three hours" a day, prompting a sharp retort from Paris.

Fuchs also criticised France on its pensions policy. "It's simply necessary for people to work longer. You cannot retire at 60, that doesn't work any more. The French must consider that," he added.

"Unfortunately France is a problem child in the euro, since other countries have done their homework substantially more intensively. Spain, also Italy under (outgoing Premier Mario) Monti...," he said.

"The whole eurozone must be internationally competitive. And there, the French are far behind."

Asked to comment on France's public deficit, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said it was not for the German government to assess but that states must do their homework to win back confidence in Europe.

"The chancellor has always made clear that in her opinion the crisis is not over. We have achieved much... There is still much to achieve," Seibert told a regular government news conference.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-02-22

  • FRANCE

    French minister is an 'imbecile', says US tyre boss

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France slams ‘extremist’ Titan CEO over Goodyear slur

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    US tyre boss mocks ‘crazy’ French unions

    Read more

COMMENT(S)