You know a European country is in trouble when its business leaders complain about government spending and taxes. You know it’s seriously in trouble when it happens in France, whose business elites are more left-wing than the left.
Nearly 100 French CEOs, among them the heads of Accor, the hotel chain, Air France, Carrefour, L´Oréal, Peugot, Siemens, SociétéGénerale and Veolia, the giant waste and water utility, are urging socialist President Francois Hollande to reduce government spending by 60 billion euros (about $76 billion) over the next five years, and reduce payroll taxes by 30 billion euros over the next two years. The cost of government, they say, has reached “the limits of what is bearable.”
They also are asking Hollande to undo the suffocating regulations that have made research and development too costly, that unrealistically limit carbon emissions, and have curtailed development of shale gas in France.