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Posts Tagged ‘France’

Right, Left, and Macron

Posted by hkarner - 23. November 2017

Zaki Laïdi, Professor of International Relations at L’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), was an adviser to former French prime minister Manuel Valls. His most recent book is Le reflux de l’Europe.

At a time of deepening inequality, the primary challenge France faces is to shift its focus from damage control to damage prevention. President Emmanuel Macron’s policies will need to be assessed on the basis of that goal, not according to ideological labels that have lost significance.

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron, once viewed as the quintessential centrist, has lately been labeled a right-wing politician. He has, after all, eliminated the wealth tax, introduced greater labor-market flexibility, cut housing benefits, and introduced reforms to higher education – policies that a majority of right-wing voters embrace. But things aren’t quite that cut and dried.

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Europe’s Hard-Core Problem

Posted by hkarner - 2. November 2017

With populism endemic in its periphery, the European Union is clearly in a period of deep uncertainty. If EU leaders are ever going to right the ship, they will need to identify the root cause of today’s instability, which is not so much about economics or immigration as it is about de facto Franco-German leadership.

PRINCETON – President Emmanuel Macron’s election in France and the likely continuation of Angela Merkel’s chancellorship in Germany are dramatically at odds with developments in the rest of Europe, which has become increasingly unstable and unpredictable. One wonders if the European Union’s hard Franco-German core is becoming too hard for the rest of the bloc. If so, those who dream of “ever closer” European integration may have to settle for a modestly enlarged Franco-German axis.

Europe today is being torn apart by centrifugal forces, including Catalonia’s secessionist movement and the more muted push for autonomy in the Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto. Right-wing populism is in power in Hungary and Poland, and may now be resurgent in Austria, too. Left-wing populists govern in Greece, and centrist populism seems to be coming to the Czech Republic, where the mogul Andrej Babiš is on track to be the country’s next prime minister. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe Beats America

Posted by hkarner - 1. November 2017

Date: 31-10-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

French and Dutch tax reforms raise the stakes for Washington.

French President Emmanuel Macron.

Good news: Tax reform is still possible. Or at least it is in Europe, which is a
challenge to America as Washington’s battles over credits and loopholes risk leaving the U.S. behind.

France is the happiest surprise. President Emmanuel Macron last week pushed a budget featuring substantial tax relief through the National Assembly. The top rate on corporate profits will fall to 28% by 2020 from 33.33% today, and Mr. Macron has promised 25% by 2022. Paris is rolling out a flat 30% rate on capital income such as realized gains and dividends, compared with rates as high as 45% on some gains today. The budget also eliminates the wealth tax on all assets except real estate.

Critics branded Mr. Macron “the President for the rich” for these overhauls, but the main effect will be to stimulate investment and job creation alongside the major labor-market overhaul Mr. Macron introduced this summer. The tax cuts are also a bid to woo businesses thinking of leaving Britain after Brexit. Even dirigiste Paris has figured out that tax codes can’t be confiscatory in a world of globally mobile capital and labor. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can France and Germany Come Together?

Posted by hkarner - 31. Oktober 2017

Date: 31-10-2017
Source: Project Syndicate by DOMINIQUE MOISI

Dominique Moisi is Senior Counselor at the Institut Montaigne in Paris. He is the author of La Géopolitique des Séries ou le triomphe de la peur.

The crisis in Catalonia and the resilience of European populists have made a well-functioning Franco-German partnership more important than ever. But if the European project is going to have any chance of surviving, the gap between German prudence and French audacity will have to be bridged.

PARIS – Seven months ago, when Marine Le Pen of the far-right National Front had a chance of winning the French presidency, Germany feared for France’s future. But after Germany’s federal election in September, France has not been particularly afraid for its neighbor. The extreme-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), for all its gains, is not about to come to power. Germany, after all, is not Austria.

Nevertheless, French and German elites have found a common cause for concern: Germany may be unable to seize the exceptional opportunity created by French President Emmanuel Macron’s victory. Before, the problem was not that Germany was too strong, but that France was too weak. Now the problem is not that France is too ambitious for Europe, but that Germany is not ambitious enough. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Mit Frankreich sagt weiteres Land Vermögenssteuer Adieu

Posted by hkarner - 20. Oktober 2017

Andreas Schnauder20. Oktober 2017, 17:49 derstandard.at

Macron setzt Erleichterung für Reiche durch. Frankreich war bisher bei Vermögenssteuern führend

Paris/Wien – Es ging ein Aufschrei der Reichen durch Frankreich, als François Hollande die Vermögenssteuer nach der Krise deutlich anhob. Die hohe Belastung sorgte für Jubel und Frust – je nach Standpunkt. Für Schlagzeilen sorgte etwa der Schauspieler Gérard Depardieu, der 2013 die russische Staatsbürgerschaft von Wladimir Putin höchstpersönlich ausgehändigt bekam. Auch hunderte andere Vermögende zog es ins Ausland, vorwiegend nach Belgien, Monaco, Luxemburg und in die Westschweiz. Hollandes Nachfolger Emmanuel Macron könnte die Emigranten zur Rückkehr bewegen, denn der Präsident dreht die Vermögenssteuer gerade wieder ab. Das Land soll für Leistungsträger wieder attraktiver werden, begründet der neue Staatschef den Schritt, der Donnerstagabend von der Nationalversammlung gebilligt wurde. Die Abgabe wird künftig nur mehr auf Immobilien im Wert von mehr als 1,3 Millionen Euro eingehoben. Damit wird das Aufkommen um rund drei Viertel reduziert, weshalb der linke Oppositionsführer Jean-Luc Mélenchon von einem „schwindelerregenden Steuergeschenk“ sprach. Die Änderung sorgt für viel Wirbel, wird doch gleichzeitig das Wohngeld für Pensionisten und Studenten gekürzt. Die gleichzeitig von der Regierung initiierte Mehrbelastung von Yachten und Rennpferden vermag den Unmut nicht zu reduzieren, spült die Maßnahme doch lediglich 30 Millionen in die Staatskasse. Zum Vergleich: Die Entlastung aus der Vermögenssteuer summiert sich auf rund drei Milliarden Euro. Macron setzt nach der Arbeitsmarktreform erneut umstrittene Akzente. Den Präsidenten ficht das nicht an: „Den traurigen Reflexen des französischen Neids werde ich nicht nachgeben“, sagte er jüngst dem Spiegel.

Trend gegen Vermögenssteuern

Die Eindämmung der Reichensteuer ist Wasser auf die Mühlen jener, die in höheren Vermögenssteuern ein Instrument zur Bekämpfung der wachsenden Ungleichheit sehen. In Europa geht der Trend in die Gegenrichtung. Haben 1995 noch 13 EU-Staaten eine Vermögenssteuer eingehoben, sind es derzeit nur noch eine Handvoll. Ganz exakt lässt sich das nicht sagen, da es recht unterschiedliche Konzepte gibt. Präzise wird hingegen erhoben, wie stark Vermögen von EU-Ländern insgesamt belastet wird. Hier ist Frankreich – ganz den Empfehlungen internationaler Organisationen wie OECD oder Währungsfonds folgend – Spitzenreiter. 4,6 Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts werden über Vermögenssteuern eingehoben. In der EU sind es 2,6 Prozent. Österreichs Anteil: 0,8 Prozent des BIP. (Andreas Schnauder, 21.10.2017) – derstandard.at/2000066411024/Mit-Frankreich-sagt-weiteres-Land-Vermoegenssteuer-Adieu

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Paris will Dieselautos ab 2024 verbieten

Posted by hkarner - 12. Oktober 2017

Bis 2030 sollen keine Verbrennungsmotoren mehr in Paris zu hören sein.

Paris. Paris will bis 2030 alle herkömmlichen Autos aus der Stadt verbannen. Laut einem am Donnerstag vorgestellten Luftschutzplan sollen ab 2024 keine Dieselfahrzeuge mehr fahren, ab 2030 sollen die Benziner folgen. Ziel sei, Paris „mittel- und langfristig zu einer CO2-neutralen Stadt zu machen“, so die Stadtverwaltung.

Damit will Paris Vorgaben der französischen Regierung früher umsetzen als geplant. Umweltminister Nicolas Hulot hatte angekündigt, bis 2040 den Verkauf von Dieselautos und Benzinern stoppen zu wollen.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Can Macron’s „Fire and Fury“ Lead a Renaissance for Europe?

Posted by hkarner - 7. Oktober 2017

Date: 06-10-2017
Source: YaleGlobal

Over the past decade, France as Europe’s third largest economy has not pursued an ambitious agenda as a member of the European Union. Likewise, resistance to political reforms has led to tepid economic growth hovering around 1 percent with only a few countries faring worse. President Emmanuel Macron, rejecting nationalism and embracing the potential of the European Union, may revitalize the French role. “Macron has moved to a dual strategy,” explains François Godement, a senior policy fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations. “Use European needling to push domestic reforms, leverage these reforms to lobby the entire European Union for deeper integration, and needle Germany in the direction of federal economic governance for Europe.” Moving swiftly, Macron offers numerous policy proposals, pointedly avoiding treaty changes or mutualizing members’ past debts. Critics grumble about a jumble of policies, and Godement concludes that careful diplomacy is required in convincing other EU members, including Germany, that sticking with the status quo, avoiding reforms, will lead to Europe’s failure. – YaleGlobal

Macron, avoiding treaty changes, moves swiftly in proposing reforms to revitalize the European Union and France’s role
François Godement Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Chimera of Franco-German Reform

Posted by hkarner - 5. Oktober 2017

Hans-Helmut KotzHans-Helmut Kotz, Program Director of the SAFE Policy Center at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, is a visiting professor of economics and a resident fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University.

In the past month, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and French President Emmanuel Macron have both unveiled ambitious visions for Europe’s future. But both leaders‘ reform agendas will require the buy-in of a German electorate that is moving in the opposite direction.

CAMBRIDGE – An abiding truth in the United States is that all politics is local. Apparently, the same wisdom can be applied (to some extent) to the European Union, whose agenda ultimately depends on key member states’ national politics.

This is particularly true with respect to eurozone institutions, which almost everyone agrees are in urgent need of reform. Indeed, shoring up the eurozone was the common thread in major speeches by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and French President Emmanuel Macron last month.

In his State of the Union address, Juncker boldly outlined his ambitious vision for Europe’s future. He called on the EU to complete its banking union, establish a European finance ministry (fully integrated into the Commission), and expand the EU-level budget. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Berlin and Paris Dance Carefully Around Deepening the Eurozone

Posted by hkarner - 16. September 2017

Date: 15-09-2017
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Germany wants to appear open to Macron’s ambitious plans, but officials harbor big doubts

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

BERLIN—Behind renewed professions of love between France and Germany, differences brewing over the euro’s future could spoil the romance.

French President Emmanuel Macron is pushing for the most ambitious deepening of ties among European countries since the Maastricht Treaty that put the continent on the road to the common currency. Germany thinks the euro isn’t broken and doesn’t need much fixing.

As Germany heads toward its elections on Sept. 24, Mr. Macron has stepped up his calls for deeper political union among the 19 members of the eurozone. “A currency zone cannot function durably without a common budget that can cope with economic shocks and encourage convergence between our economies by supporting investment projects in those countries that need them most,” Mr. Macron told Greek newspaper Kathimerini during a visit to Athens last week. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Macron’s Labor Gambit

Posted by hkarner - 8. September 2017

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