French president Francois Hollande was grilled by literally everyone in a 90 minute live presentation.
No one is happy. The reformists and businesses want more reform. The socialists want negative reform.
Tone was set early on when the president said things were “getting better” and a brave journalist interrupted “Is that a joke?”
Please consider François Hollande Endures Live TV Grilling From Hostile Voters.
François Hollande was raked over the coals live on national television on Thursday by a panel of hostile journalists, disgruntled entrepreneurs and angry youth as the French president sought to rekindle dismal approval ratings a year before presidential elections.
The tone was set several minutes into the hour-and-a-half programme when the Socialist leader said that things were “getting better” with the French economy, only to be cut off by a journalist saying: “Is that a joke?”
The television appearance came amid a barrage of negative surveys on Thursday. One showed that 74 per cent of French people do not want Mr Hollande to run for re-election next year, while 87 per cent were unhappy with his record, amid a stubbornly high unemployment rate of more than 10 per cent of the workforce.
Anne-Laure Constanza, a small-business owner brought on to the show on France 2, told Mr Hollande that she was afraid to hire staff and that his latest plan to tax short-term contracts would stop her hiring and “innovating”.
The comments by Ms Constanza show the wealth of anger that still exists among entrepreneurs at the perceived lack of progress in simplifying France’s labour rules.
The president was also faced by Marwen Belkaid, a leftwing student at business school, who said he felt “betrayed” by a president who had promised to put youth first. He pointed to the 25 per cent youth unemployment rate.
“You may feel that you have kept your promises, but that is not how I feel,” he said, criticising the president’s move to the right in trying to reform the labour market.
“How can I believe you . . . when you rush headlong towards an economic system which people do not want?” asked Mr Belkaid.
Mr Hollande was also asked questions from a pensioner who used to be a left sympathiser but now votes for the National Front, and from the mother of a youngster who joined Isis and was killed in Syria.
Léa Salamé, one of the two France 2 journalists anchoring the show, said: “You seem to have convinced neither the workers nor the employers. No one is convinced.”
Another Inane Hollande Idea
I had not heard about Hollande’s plan to tax short-term contracts but that is remarkably stupid, even for a president prone to stupidity.
Constanza is correct. Since there was insufficient reform that would allow businesses to fire people, Hollande’s plan will result in little to no hiring at all by small and medium-sized businesses with under 50 employees.
Progression of Political Promises
- Make promises you cannot keep to get elected
- Keep making them even though it is mathematically impossible for them to work
- Everyone spits at you when you attempt to make changes
- Eventually everything implodes
We are on the verge of point number 3.
Marine Le Pen is waiting on deck in France. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders on deck in the US.
This country needs journalists willing to stand up and say: excuse me Mr. President is that a joke? The same applies to Janet Yellen.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock