The Corner

News From France

Allister Heath is in City AM with a round-up of some recent news from France:

[B]oss-napping is making a comeback: two executives were yesterday taken hostage by members of a communist trade union at a Goodyear tyre plant in the north of the country. The quotes from the union extremists involved are utterly shocking. In a country bound by the rule of law and which respected property rights and classical liberal values, such a kidnapping would immediately trigger a major police response, with those detained freed and everybody responsible for their imprisonment arrested, tried and jailed. Not in France…

Then consider the events on New Year’s eve: “just” 1,067 cars were torched, a number which the authorities welcomed as down by a tenth on the previous year. Horrendously, three people died.

Next, [French president] Francois Hollande has finally pushed through a version of his 75 per cent top tax rate; it will last two years and start at €1m in earnings. It will now supposedly be paid by the employer, and limited to five per cent of a firm’s turnover – but its economic effects will be almost as bad as the original plan. French firms have zero incentive to employ top talent; and successful people have zero incentive to work there…

The economy there is struggling. Can’t think why.

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