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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Unemployment Numbers, Budget Cuts Highlight Struggling French Economy

Greg Asciutto |
September 26, 2012 | 7:23 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Pensioner chants slogans during nationwide general strike over austerity measures in Athens, Greece on Wednesday. (Associated Press graphic)
Pensioner chants slogans during nationwide general strike over austerity measures in Athens, Greece on Wednesday. (Associated Press graphic)

French President Francois Hollande tackles unemployment, economic woes with new budget (Creative Commons).
French President Francois Hollande tackles unemployment, economic woes with new budget (Creative Commons).
As violent protests rage in Greece and Spain over news of new austerity measures, French President Francois Hollande is preparing to present France with its own deficit-slashing budget on Friday. 

Hollande, the Socialist Party leader who won May's election on promises of economic growth and job creation, will attempt to steer the nation away from the struggles faced by its flailing eurozone partners through a series of tax increases and budget cuts.

In 2013, Hollande aims to limit public debt to 3 percent of France's gross domestic product, a significant decrease from the current debt level of 4.5 percent.

The proposed measures are highlighted by a 75 percent tax on earnings of more than €1 million, which, according to Reuters, will bring in more than €200 million for the state, as well as €30 billion in budget cuts.

"If there is such a new tax rule, it's going to be very, very difficult to attract talent to work in France, almost impossible; at a certain level, of course," said L'Oreal CEO Jean-Paul Argon.

On Wednesday, Labor Minister Michel Sapin announced that there are now more than 3 million unemployed individuals in France for the first time since 1999. According to BBC News, that total reflects the loss of 23,900 jobs in August, the country's 16th-straight month in which unemployment levels increased.

France's consumer confidence index dropped in September as well, from 86 in August to 85.

 

Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage on the eurozone crisis here.

Reach Staff Reporter Greg Asciutto here. Follow him on Twitter.



 

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