How France’s left-wing government learned to love austerity

The Spectator, Andrew Haldenby

Andrew Haldenby, Director at Reform, has written an article in The Spectator on the arguments of the new French Government in favour of reform and spending discipline.

The article analyses M Hollande’s ‘new start for Europe’:

“Hollande’s ‘new way’, however, turned out to be the same old profligate way that had caused the debt crisis in the first place. Mr Hollande’s spending succeeded only in stimulating the French national debt. He promised to introduce 75 per cent tax rates, and at the outset his approval rating stood at 63 per cent. But the economy did not move, unemployment surged and his popularity plummeted.”

The article goes on to mention:

“It’s not that M. Hollande has abandoned the doctrine of solidarity. He has just given it a new definition. ‘The state is our common asset,’ declared Valls last month. ‘It has a duty to be efficient and never to waste public money.’ He will tell the people the truth about austerity, he says, because ‘truth will lead to success’. After all, as France knows to its cost, dishonesty leads to disaster.”