French central bank governor urges reforms

Paris, Jan 27 (IANS) The governor of Banque de France (BdF), Francois Villeroy de Galhau, called on Socialist Party officials on Wednesday to step up reforms to register robust growth and start reversing the rising joblessness trend.

“Beyond monetary policy, we regularly remind European governments, including France, that it is necessary to expand reforms,” Xinhua quoted Villeroy as saying.

Villeroy de Galhau, who is also a European Central Bank governing council member, urged the government to keep up with labour reforms to better handle the tricky unemployment issue.

“France can and must do better to eliminate unemployment,” he said.

“Unemployed and young people don’t have time to wait for various political timetables. That’s why it’s necessary to keep going with a certain number of reforms like labour costs, for example,” he added.

He noted that the government’s proposed reforms, such as the responsibility pact and the “CICE” tax breaks to boost competition, were a step in the right direction, and added that the eurozone’s second main power had “many assets to face European and global competition”.

Based on a favourable global climate, mainly due to the oil price, a weak euro, and an expansionary monetary policy in the euro area, the BdF estimated a 1.2 percent rise in French national output for all of 2015, above the government estimate of 1.1 percent.

The bank forecast French growth would stand at 1.8 percent in 2016 and 1.9 percent in 2017.


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