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Ministers look at France in 2025

Full employment, a police force closer to the people, cars getting 141mpg ... and housing for all

MINISTERS have been reading crystal balls over their summer holidays as they gathered at the Elysée this morning to give presentations in front of President Hollande on their visions for France in the year 2025.

Many ministers used the occasion to present a wish list for the future but Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici said that it was “realistic” to believe that France would have full employment over the next 10 years.

He said that by 2025 France would have full employment and a balanced budget – but he said “if the huge growth of the emerging economies continues” it would have fallen back from fifth to the eighth or ninth place as an economic force.

Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg said that by 2025 20% of France’s wealth would come from its industrial sector – which would be producing vehicles of the future such as one that used less than two litres per 100km – or 141mpg.

French factories could be building such a vehicle by 2017 and it would be a best-seller across the continent, with cheaper versions built for emerging countries. He said France would create a “blueprint for the factory of the future”.

Security was the main feature of the presentation by Interior Minister Manuel Valls who promised a “Police 3.0” that would no longer be distant from the people. Using the latest internet technologies and social media the service would be transformed.

He also saw a reorganisation of the present prefecture and sub-prefecture structure and said the new structures would match new demographic changes.

Justice Minister Christiane Taubira sees major changes in the legal system and especially in penal reform, with the prison population falling below 60,000 as they develop alternatives to jail.

Housing Minister Cécile Duflot’s wish list would be for “everyone to have a roof over their head” and she foresees the building of six million homes, with one-third of them being social housing.

Actions already taken will give guarantees on rented accommodation to both tenants and owners and will mean that empty accommodation will become the exception.

Interestingly, she also foresees a reduction in bureaucracy hindering people’s access to accommodation. This ties with Mr Montebourg’s view that cutting red tape through the new Public Investment Bank would allow “entrepreneurs to transform small businesses into large multinationals”.

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