The Wall Street Journal

France’s Hollande Casts Fate With Ex-Banker Macron
The Wall Street Journal

French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron got an earful in January from U.S. technology and retail executives as they lectured him in a meeting at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas about France’s inhospitable business reputation.

They complained that the government meddles too much, the labor market is too rule-bound and corporate taxes are onerous, including a two-year 75% tax on salaries of more than €1 million ($1.1 million) imposed by President François Hollande after his election in 2012.

The 37-year-old Mr. Macron, a former investment banker who became France’s top economic official last August, folded his hands prayer-like and then responded with the message he had flown from Paris to deliver: “I agree with everything.” He added: “I think the 75% tax was a big mistake.”

Mr. Macron’s dig at his own boss was no slip of the tongue. For years, he prodded Mr. Hollande and his ruling Socialist Party to carry out a long-delayed modernization of France’s economy, the eurozone’s second largest. Now the French president is staking his government’s survival on Mr. Macron’s agenda.

In February, Mr. Hollande pushed economic overhauls designed by Mr. Macron—and known as the “Macron Law”—past the lower house of Parliament. Opposition from the president’s own party was so fierce that Mr. Hollande invoked special constitutional powers to bypass the National Assembly, the first use of that maneuver in nearly a decade. By backing Mr. Macron, Mr. Hollande is turning away from his past as an apparatchik who focused on appeasing the Socialist Party’s left with tax-the-rich policies and employment programs that stretched France’s finances, such as job subsidies for more than 150,000 young people.

Élu en 2012, le socialiste François Hollande rend finalement les armes et reconnaît que les idées de gauche ne fonctionnent pas. Pour sauver l’économie de son pays, le président s’en remet à un banquier qui appliquera des idées de droites.

Ça serait bien si la gogauche québécoise prenait acte… Ça nous éviterait de perdre du temps avec des « débats » inutiles.