It hasn’t worked out well when modern French leaders have tried to channel Napoleon, but looking to Robespierre is likely to prove even more disastrous.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Ambrose-Evans Pritchard reports:
Some business leaders are in a state of quasi-panic,” said Laurence Parisot, head of employers’ group MEDEF.
“The pace of bankruptcies has accelerated over the summer. We are seeing a general loss of confidence by investors. Large foreign investors are shunning France altogether. It’s becoming really dramatic.”
MEDEF, France’s equivalent of the CBI [the Confederation of British Industry], said the threat has risen from “a storm warning to a hurricane warning”, adding that the Socialist government of François Hollande has yet to understand the “extreme gravity” of the crisis. The immediate bone of contention is Article 6 of the new tax law, which raises the top rate of capital gains tax from 34.5pc to 62.2pc. This compares with 21pc in Spain, 26.4pc in Germany and 28pc in Britain.
This is not the best way to encourage enterprise and investment. But I don’t think that worries ’hate tax’ Hollande.