Sarkozy Urges French to Play ‘the Game of Globalization’
By KATRIN BENNHOLD
PARIS, Aug. 30 — In a country that has long resisted globalization, President Nicolas Sarkozy bluntly told France on Thursday to stop kidding itself and face up to it — but in a French way.
- to adopt business-friendly policies to allow French companies to compete better in the world,
- even if the changes upset those clinging to France’s generous welfare system
- (and those clinging to) strong job protection.
But he also echoed themes sounded by predecessors, saying
- but, the free market (is) an illusion
- the government (has to) defend French interests from foreign marauders.
- play the game of globalization collectively,” “
- to defend our interests when all the others are defending theirs?”
he chose the campus of a business school and a business audience to outline his economic program. France’s political class has preferred to be seen with philosophers and intellectuals.
- among the business leaders, ... “he was one of us.”
- Labor unions and leftist opposition politicians, ... appeared to concur. “He is the president of the CAC 40,” said Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a Socialist senator, referring to the French stock market index.
- push for additional cuts in payroll taxes and ways to
- encourage people to work beyond the statutory 35-hour workweek.
- cut the maximum tax burden to 50 percent of personal income and
- scrap taxes on overtime pay.
- changes to the labor code, easing rules that make it cumbersome for companies to fire people.
- to ease the restrictions on firing while still providing some protections for workers.