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Der Euro in Europa - Frankreich

Frankreich - France

Jobs
Seasonally adjusted unemployment has risen every month apart from one since the introduction of euro notes and coins. France has lost over 100,000 jobs in the last year. French President Jacques Chirac has said, “France is less active – we have high unemployment and we are eleventh in the EU” (Le Monde, 8 May).

Prices
French consumer association, the UFC, has calculated that an average shopping basket for a French family costs 10 percent more after the changeover. UFC surveyed the prices of 55,000 items in 1,040 major retailers over the past two years and found that the price of some fresh goods had more than doubled and that shampoo, soap and some beauty products had increased by 40 percent. A recent report in the Independent showed that 96 percent of French people thought that prices had gone up since the introduction of the euro.

Growth
Growth in France has been sluggish, at 1 percent in 2002, compared to 1.6 percent in 2001. Growth is expected to be disappointing in 2003 as well, with several economists predicting growth of less than 1.5 percent.

Stability Pact
France has undermined the stability of the euro several times since notes and coins were launched by ignoring the rules of the Stability Pact. France has a high budget deficit (officially 2.8 percent in 2002, but many suspect that France has already broken the 3 percent limit). Despite receiving an “early warning” from the Commission, France is refusing to take the necessary steps to reduce its structural deficit, saying that it has “other priorities”. Several leading figures in the Eurozone have said that such behaviour is undermining confidence in the euro.

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