Aryault Counters Criticisms of Inactivity by Announcing Upcoming Reforms

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. Photo: AFP/Patrick Kovarik

On Wednesday August 22nd, Prime Minister Jean Marc Ayrault announced on BFM-TV and RMC the reforms the government will implement in the coming months, overpowering the criticisms of inactivity from the UMP and Jean Luc Mélenchon regarding the first 100 days of presidency

The main points of these interviews concerned firstly the Livret A, the most famous French savings account. It was one of Hollande’ s promises during his campaign to double the rate of this account. There will be an increase, but it will be in two parts.  The first increase of 25%, will be effective on mid-September and will help to finance public housing.

The second announcement concerns fuel prices. Ayrault declared that there will not be a price freeze, but will be changes in the tax system so as to make prices decrease, before “implementing a mechanism that regulates fuel prices.”  The government will also call upon producers and distributors services as the government asks them to do “their own part of the effort”.

Then the government announced the creation of 150,000 “jobs with a future” in 2013 and 2014. The State will finance 75% of it for 1 to 3 years. These new jobs are based on both rolling contracts and fixed-term contracts and are designed for young people from 16 to 25 years old with few qualifications or from difficult or landlocked rural areas. The new jobs concerns mainly the public sector, notably “associations or mutualist companies” but it also “private sector’s caring services.”

Ayrault also announced he was “favourable to an evolution” concerning Roma’s work, which is currently one of the hottest topic in France.

However the UMP opposition has not waited to criticize these measures. Indeed the former Budget Minister, Valérie Pécresse, claimed that competitive advantage of French economy and job creation were the main lasting solutions, and defined the reform of the Livret A as “an expensive measure. . . and an anti-corporation measure because today, public housing does not need funding.” Jean François Coppé, the current UMP secretary general of the UMP, qualified these reforms as “inefficient little measures” and called on “François Hollande and his government to get insight into the crisis and to commit to a global and ambitious policy.”

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