Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sarkozy's economics

Sorry I didn't post this before: a long article on Nicolas Sarkozy by John Thornhill - 'The reactionary revolutionary' (probably subscription only now). Some quotations:
Sarkozy put in a feisty performance. “In Britain, they call me dirigiste. In France, they call me a liberal. And in Germany, they call me a nationalist,” he said with a grin.
Sarkozy’s solution to France’s ills combines a Thatcherite emphasis on hard work, low taxes and entrepreneurship, with a Blairite obsession with social inclusion, education and equal opportunity for all. In private, he hails these two British prime ministers, one from the right, the other from the left, as inspirational leaders who have regenerated their country.  [...]

Jacques Delpla, a former economic adviser to Sarkozy, says that the UMP is drawing up a detailed economic reform programme, which could be rapidly implemented if Sarkozy were to win the presidency. “Sarkozy’s economic programme is a mix of economic liberalism and French dirigisme,” he says. “He is liberal in European rather than US terms in wanting to reform labour and product markets and social security. But he is interventionist in terms of industrial policy, foreign trade and agriculture, which is a must for any French presidential candidate.”
Jack Lang, the popular former culture minister and self-declared presidential contender from the left, says: “I consider that for me, for us, Sarkozy is a good candidate. He is clearly a man of the right. Economically, he is American. He is for wild capitalism. Politically, he is Bonapartist. He is authoritarian. I am exactly the opposite.”



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