Something Is Moving

The FT reports this morning that France may be about to ease restrictions on certain highly regulated service industries and on business start-ups as part of a package to create jobs in poor suburbs. It is possible that these initiatives might be a test bed for broader economic reform throughout France. French finance minister, Thierry Breton, told the Financial Times:

France had failed its immigrant communities, largely housed in bleak areas of high unemployment where rioters have left one pensioner dead and burned 7,000 cars. “We have put a lot of money into the suburbs over the past 20 years,” Mr Breton said. “But obviously it wasn’t enough. We need to work on how to create more jobs and growth in those areas.”

Among the initiatives being considered is an easing of regulations in the specially designated “zones franches”. Currently companies are encouraged to locate in these areas of high unemployment through a limited range of tax breaks. However, the Finance Ministry is considering a form of “positive economic discrimination” that would exempt companies from certain rules in place elsewhere. These include relaxing professional qualifications on businesses such as hair salons and taxi companies, and increasing the level of state guarantees for business loans.

This entry was posted in A Few Euros More, Misc and tagged , , by Edward Hugh. Bookmark the permalink.

About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".