France is in need of radical economic reform. There are two linked areas Sarkozy should focus on the labour market and the pensions systems. The headline rates of unemployment in France are bad enough, but the picture looks really grim when one looks deeper. Long-term unemployment and youth unemployment are much higher in France than in the UK...As regulation and the tax burden rose in France between the late 1980s and the late 1990s, employment amongst 20-24 year olds fell from a dismal half of the population to an appalling one third...A recent survey showed that France had the most confrontational work environment in the world. Liberty! Equality! Fraternity! Precious little of any of these three virtues in French labour markets, sadly.
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Economic Affairs on Labour Market Regulation