The French Labour Minister shocked the world yesterday, when he told a radio interviewer that is country was “totally bankrupt”.
“There is a state but it is a totally bankrupt state,” Mr Michel Sapin said. “That is why we had to put a deficit reduction plan in place, and nothing should make us turn away from that objective.”
Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici later described his colleagues words as “inappropriate” – but interestingly, he didn’t say that they were incorrect.
Statistics released by the Bank of France earlier this month show a substantial ‘capital flight’ from the country, as investors and the wealthy elite alike shy away from France for fear of socialist President Francois Hollande’s drive to raise taxes on the wealthy. The actor Gerard Depardieu famously and flamboyantly renounced his French citizenship over increases in top rate tax, and Prime Minister David Cameron from neighbouring Great Britain has made it clear that his government would “roll out the red carpet” for wealthy individuals fleeing French taxes.