French PM: 'Out of question' to change economic policy
More than eight out of ten French citizens do not trust the government of Prime Minister Valls to improve economic situation, poll shows.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Sunday it is "out of the question" for his government to change its plans to restore growth, describing those calling for another strategy as "irresponsible".

In an interview with "Journal du Dimanche," Valls reacted to the disappointing growth figures for French economy by saying the government's reforms require "time to produce results."

On Thursday, President Francois Hollande and his government came under fire after new figures released by the national statistics institute showed the French economy had come to a halt, showing zero growth for the second consecutive quarter.

"The policy that the president has decided to implement for the economy requires time to produce results," Valls said. "But it is out of question to change it."

In April, French members of parliament approved Valls' budget "responsibility pact," which included €50 billion of social cuts, as well as a €41 billion cut in corporate payroll taxes for the next three years.

Valls also described opponents on the left calling for a new strategy as irresponsible.

"Some on the left ... make irresponsible remarks," he said.

After the publication of the growth figures, opposition figures blamed Hollande and his government for the failure.

The secretary general of the opposition UMP party, Luc Chatel, said in a statement that the "political credibility” of Hollande and Valls had "collapsed like a house of cards”.

"This is an unprecedented crisis of public finances. ... Monsieur Holland and Monsieur Valls must not only change their policies, they have to change software," the statement said.

Far-right National Front leader Marine le Pen described the EU’s economy policy as "a total failure," and called for breaking up the euro and returning to a cheaper French national currency.

"The euro continues to push our country into sub-growth and deindustrialization," Le Pen said in a statement. "The full opening of borders and the rejection of all forms of protectionism accelerates the demise of our industry."

A poll published Sunday by "Journal du Dimanche" showed that more than eight out of ten French people do not trust the government to solve France's economic woes.

Last Modified: 2014-08-18 09:32:57
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