WITH unemployment topping 3.2million, virtually zero growth and strident criticisms from both Right and Left, President Hollande this morning called a cabinet meeting to look at his government’s “balance sheet and outlook” over the year since his election.
There were no celebrations and ministers got straight to work with plans to get the jobless back in work top of the agenda, hand in hand with measures to boost economic growth.
Unemployment has been rising since 2008 and since Hollande was elected on May 6, 2012, he has seen 900 people a day join the dole queue. His key measures to get young people working are not expected to produce results until the end of 2013.
The emplois d'avenir, where young people get job experience and initial training and contrats de generation where young workers are taken on to work alongside an older worker preparing for retirement, have only recently been announced and numbers are building slowly across the country.
Another measure, the “35-point competitivity agreement”, includes a €20billion tax credit for companies which is hoped to kick-start economic growth and, with it, increase jobs – and bring in more money for state finances.
Three-quarters of people give Hollande a negative rating in an opinion poll at the weekend for ITélé with 56% of Hollande’s own supporters from the last election admitting being disappointed.
There is pressure on Hollande to reshuffle his government, with many judging that his 37 ministers could do with being trimmed. Ayrault admitted as much on TV at the weekend, but added: “Everything in its time.”
Photo: Presidence de la Republique