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Askenazy, Philippe

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Le Monde - France | 21/01/2013

Philippe Askenazy calls for an end to France bashing

Both at home and abroad the French economy has repeatedly been the subject of negative headlines, most recently with the closure of the Goodyear plant in Amiens. But in fact France is performing quite well, writes economist Philippe Askenazy, research director at the National Centre for Scientific Research, in the left-liberal daily Le Monde: "France has one of the most flexible job markets. It has introduced contract termination by mutual assent. ... Around 1.8 million job contracts and just as many terminations are signed each month. We never stop hearing about record unemployment. But in fact the level is remarkably low. The jobless rate is lower than it was in 1997, and at the same level as it was at the start of 1999 after five years of growth. So the satisfaction of seeing the French public debt financed and re-financed at historically low levels is just the tip of the iceberg of a France that is entirely solid in the European macro-economic context. Of course, not everything's perfect. But hope is justified provided Europe manages to free itself from the straitjacket of austerity."

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