The collapse of confidence in Macron’s France will be brutal and sudden
Macron will back off. There are few questions about this. Perhaps last year he was re-elected to the presidency, but lost his majority in parliament. He failed to reform pensions when he was at the height of his political power in 2018, and it seems incredible that he will succeed now.
This is fineas they say in France. Reforms are proposed, strikes take place, a few riots, plans fall apart, and everything goes on as before. It happened under Macron five years ago, under Nicolas Sarkozy ten years earlier, and under Jacques Chirac ten years earlier. But this time it will be different.
Britain’s debts are large enough, but France’s debts are catastrophic. Total debt has risen to 114% of GDP, well above the 99% the UK is expected to reach this year. The budget deficit this year is still 5% of GDP, with only vague commitments to reduce it. France’s total public debt overtook Italy’s debt last year to become the third largest in the world behind the US and Japan, which are much larger economies: France’s per capita debt is $46,000 (£37,000) compared to $40,000 US in the UK and US$37,000 in Greece. .
The trade deficit is more than 100 billion euros (88 billion pounds) a year and is constantly growing. His foreign investments are negligible and are declining every year. By any measure you want to look at, this is a country that is stubbornly living beyond its means. Sure, it has great infrastructure and a few world-class companies like the luxury goods empire LVMH, but it also has one of the largest governments in the world (comprising a dreadful 55% of GDP, the highest in the OECD). and a bloated welfare system.