French minister predicts ‘full employment’ by 2025
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Ahead of the new parliamentary term, French Ministers made predictions on how France will have evolved by 2025. The country will have no unemployment, little debt, housing for everyone and an industry that will be the envy of the world, they hope.
France’s ministers were set a summer holiday homework assignment by President François Hollande: “What is your vision of France in 2025?”
Ministers will hand in their homework on Monday when the government reconvenes in Paris to prepare for the new term with a seminar on France’s future.
Weekly French magazine Le Point has seen five of these broadly optimistic ministerial essays, handed in early by Hollande’s keenest pupils.
Pierre Moscovici, Finance Minister (pictured with Hollande)
Moscovici’s assessment is massively positive, even if it is tempered by the prediction that France’s position among the world’s top economic powers (it’s currently in 5th place) will drop to 8th or 9th place “if the huge growth of the emerging economies continues apace”.
But France will nevertheless be in a much stronger position than it is now, he writes, predicting full employment and the eradication of public debt.
“The risks are great but everything is possible,” he states confidently.
Cécile Duflot, Housing Minister
Duflot’s vision is particularly rosy, and thanks to plans she is putting in place, France will benefit from six million new homes and “everyone will have a roof over their heads in a quality environment”.
“Access to housing will no longer be a stress factor,” she predicts. “Finding a home will even become a pleasant step in people’s lives.”
She also believes that her pet project, that the state will guarantee payment of rents by 2016, “will be recognised as a major social advancement”.
Manuel Valls, Interior Minister
Valls predicts that policing will be transformed by the Internet and new Web technologies.
“We already have a Gendarmerie [police] 2.0,” he writes, employing the term used to describe the evolution of the Web from static pages to interactive sites and social media. “By 2025 France will have a Gendarmerie 3.0.”
Without giving away too many details, he adds that “security strategies will be driven by technological innovation” which will bring the country’s security forces “closer to the general population”.
Christiane Taubira, Justice Minister
Christiane Taubira hopes that less serious crimes will not necessarily see offenders sent to France’s already chronically overcrowded prisons.
“Justice needs to be a source of hope for young people,” she says. “Young delinquents are often those in the most vulnerable situations” for whom prison sentences can be counterproductive.
Instead, she predicts sentences “designed to compensate the victims of crimes that will allow offenders to either remain in the community or if imprisoned, to re-integrate more quickly.”
Just like Valls, Taubira foresees a justice system “that is closer to ordinary citizens” as a result of technological advances.
Arnaud Montebourg, Minister for Industrial Renewal
“France will be recognised, once again, as the leading voice among industrialised nations,” writes Montebourg. “The country will be the world leader in renewable energy and smart grids.”
The minister risks not getting an 'A' grade for this submission, having misspelled “grid”, referring to more efficient intelligent electricity distribution networks, as “greed”.
Montebourg also predicts that the newly created Public Investment Bank (set up in December 2012), coupled with a reduction in red tape, “will help the country’s entrepreneurs transform small businesses into large multinationals.”