In the last 4 years the UK has handed over to France a £220.8 million reward for their complete failure to stop the illegal invasion of the UK by migrant mobs paying thousands of pounds to people smugglers to transport across the Channel those who have illegally entered France but who have not been expelled back to the many “safe third countries” they passed through on their way to France.
By accommodating those illegal migrants near the northern French coast France has aided and abetted (and indeed accompanied) illegal immigrants into the UK where the costs of taking them are now at least £1.3bn a year. At the same time France has rejected 3,500 migrants from Italy because Italy has blocked a ship with 230 migrants from docking.
Imagine if the UK demanded £220m from Ireland to (fail to) stop illegal immigrants in the UK from crossing to Ireland! So far from paying France £220m it is France which should be paying the UK hundreds of millions of pounds and those sums should be extracted from the confiscation and sale of French financial assets in the UK. (I note the UK has frozen Russian assets and threatens to spend them in Ukraine)
Italy’s new Prime Minister Meloni has rightly attacked France’s domination and impoverishment of 14 poor African countries through its profit (seigniorage) from issuing the CFA Franc as their currency. Meloni rightly says that in general the West restricts trade and exploits the economies of the countries from where migrants are forced to flee. I covered this on Freenations: http://freenations.net/markets-make-mass-migrations-unnecessary/ The more protectionist and corporatist the West’s economies are (and France is an extreme case) the more mass movements of people replace the free movement of goods and services.
But this migrant burden on the UK is just one symptom of the social and economic breakdown in France.
In August of 2022 France’s balance of payments deficit reached a record high of Euros 22,706m, there having been previous monthly record deficits in March and April.
A Daily Telegraph article noted “the lawless anarchy of the banlieues that surround the capital amounting to low level terrorism is mirrored in almost every other city. …graffiti, vandalism and filth….”
Even the cause of and pathetic previous denier of this collapse, President Macron has had to admit “if we look at Paris today …at least half the crime comes from people who are foreigners either illegal immigrants or those waiting for a residence permit” – language which he previously accused “extremists” of using. Youth unemployment at 20% fuels social unrest by both French and immigrant communities, with the latter far more isolated from the mainstream than their equivalents in the UK.
By the end of 2021, France’s (total public and private) debt-to-GDP ratio had risen to 347.7%, according to data from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Currently, France has higher overall debt than any other eurozone nation, including recognised basket cases like Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain!
France has a budget deficit of 6.5% of GDP and a national debt of 112% of GDP – only Spain, Greece and Montenegro are worse! (The UK has 97%)
Since December 2021 France’s 10 year Government bond rate has risen from 0.05% to 2.79% a very big percentage increase, far steeper than the rise in the UK gilt rate which caused such chaos!
The rise in gas prices due to the EU and NATO’s sanctions on Russia has caused France’s largest glass manufacturer Duralex to suspend work for 5 months due to surging electricity bills, the CEO- “Our gas and electricity bills have increased from 3 to 13 million euros per year”
During the five months of closure, employees will continue to receive 95% of their salary. Thanks to the government’s measures, 70% of this amount will be covered by the state – adding to the crisis level of the national debt while hardly helping the ever higher indebtedness of business.
Consumers have also been heavily subsidised. Natural gas prices were capped at autumn 2021 levels and energy price rises limited to 4 percent. Petrol prices have also been heavily subsidised and artificially reduced inflation to 6.5%.
France has always prided itself on its nuclear technology and nuclear power contributes 70% of France’s electricity supply. But recently 32 of its 56 reactors were out of service for repair (corrosion problems) and maintenance. France is planning a 10% reduction in energy demand by 2024. As regards gas and electricity supply they will also be relying on taking both from interconnections with the UK! So either the UK could be short or British energy prices could be very high this winter.
So like that other pillar of the European Union and its industrial heartland, Germany, (http://freenations.net/germany-in-crisis-faces-war-reparations-claims%EF%BB%BF/) France is struggling to keep its industry going at all never mind making it profitable.
France has always been a statist economy, “dirigiste” in its philosophy and with controlling Government stakes in its major corporations. One of the keys to this system has always been the Ecole National d’Administration, a postgraduate training ground for businessmen and State administrators founded by General DeGaulle in 1945 to give access to the highest levels of the civil service for those from all backgrounds. Now of course since December 2021 its Statist corporatist rigidity has led to its abolition (by Macron who was himself a graduate) in favour of the “Public Service Institute” with a mission to “introduce more diversity” – the very same reason given for the founding of the ENA in 1945!
The failure of this typical de haut en bas logic of the French State shows perhaps why France in general lacks the creativity and flexibility needed in the modern economy. The energy market cannot adapt quick enough, Universities lack world status (France has only 1 university in the world top 500, the UK has 4 in the top ten!) and in a country where the population has risen much less in the last three years (220,000) than the UK (420,000) there are 3 million empty homes – so miss-matched is supply and demand in this “planned economy”.
58% of the French say they are “dissatisfied” with the state of their country and a third are “very angry”. A resurgence is feared of the massive “yellow vests” movement when the violent reaction of the Macron State led to the deaths of demonstrators. The true nature of Macron and the corporatist State he runs can be seen here: