president-hollande

France is predicted to run a deficit of 4.3% of GDP in 2015, breaking EU rules. Ahead of the European summit in Brussels on 24 October, French President François Hollande said that economic growth was a bigger priority than the EU pact limiting national deficits to less than 3% of GDP, and that France would therefore apply a “maximum of flexibility” when interpreting the rules.

The European Commission has been given new powers to scrutinise national budgets in response to the sovereign debt crisis. However, some countries (led by France and Italy) would like to see the rules relaxed, arguing that strict deficit limits will choke off economic recovery in the Eurozone.

We had a comment of support sent in by Patrice, arguing that France had no choice but to ignore the EU budget rules:

citizen_icon_180x180Of course, France is not a model for the budget rules, but [former French Minister of Finance] Pierre Moscovici did what he had to do to protect the French economy.

Nevertheless, citizens from smaller EU Member States grumble that there exists one set of rules for them and another for the big economies, especially as countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland have undergone tough austerity programmes to cut down their deficits.

We had a comment sent in from Pieter who was angry that France was allowed to “continuously flout EU rules” while smaller countries cannot.

To get a reaction to Pieter’s complaint, we recently spoke to centrist French MEP Dominique Riquet. How would he respond?

riquetI think it’s a question of size. The bigger you are, the more power you have. You have more economic power, more financial power, more deputies [in the European Parliament], and so on.

So, even if our situation is not very good, [France] remains the second country in Europe in terms of economic power and demographic power, and I think this explanation is also why everybody in Europe is very anxious about France, because it’s a big player. If we crash, it’s going to be very bad for everybody in Europe.

The Commission has said “We can pay for Greece, but we’re unable to pay for France”. France is too big to fail, but not Greece. I think that’s the explanation.

Should France be allowed to break EU deficit rules because it is “too big to fail”? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Parti socialiste


140 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Pieter DeConinck

    No, but since France is the most anti-European and protectionist country in the EU it undoubtedly will.

  2. avatar
    James McManama

    No, France and Italy should stick to the rules, as should Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, etc.

    • avatar
      Joao

      What if the “rules” are wrong?…

  3. avatar
    Shaun Daley

    France is a sovereign state – the French government can do as it pleases, and needs no permission. The problem: when the French government willfully reneges on international agreements, it completely undermines the basis for future negotiations and collaboration. By agreeing to a target fiscal deficit, then deliberately choosing to overshoot that target by a wide margin, the French government is destroying the possibility of better collaborative solutions to Europe’s economic problems. That’s a disaster, and it is bad for France, but this is ultimately a sovereign French choice.

    • avatar
      Marcel

      The French expect Germany to pay for its debts and pensions.

    • avatar
      Joao

      France, just like all the other EU countries seized to be a sovereign state the day it joined the union…

  4. avatar
    Josephine Cassar

    France should stick to the rules, that is why it is in the club;Italy should be given a little bit of leeway as there are many unemployed. France should be made to raise retirement age to at least 62/3. Why should it be different? After all it eats up a lot of EU budget from the CAP

  5. avatar
    Dimitri Ag

    then I am allowed to break any rule I want… still then, my “outlaw” will not affect as many people as France or any other gvt one. So, catch the big fish, not the tiny

  6. avatar
    Spyros Kouvoussis

    France should not stick to the rules because the rules only serve the interest of the 1%, not the people. No country should respects that protects bankers, the rich and the speculators and destroyes the lives of all of us.

    • avatar
      danilo

      100% agree! If the majority of the EU countries can’t stick the rules, maybe is it time to change the rules ?

  7. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    If they break the rules then everybody else should! Greece was humiliated for doing so and criticised. It was then forced to comply with everything that big countries like Germany and France told it to do. When you talk the talk you got to walk the walk. Practice what you preach my dear Frenchies… Or Italians…. Or Germans and whoever else! Now shape up your economy tighten your belts and put your heads down to work work work, just like the Greeks have been doing for the past 5 years!! Because if your economy goes bust, we won’t be willing to pay for your bail outs through our banks.. D’accord? What goes around comes around!!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris
      I agree with you BUT I have a feeling that France will get its way and claim DECEPTION sorry I mean EXCEPTION Francais.

      IF France does pull a fast one then if I was a Club Med national I would feel very, very aggrieved.

    • avatar
      aditec

      Griechenland hat seine Überschuldung selbst herbeigeführt. Niemand hat die Griechen gezwungen, Kredite aufzunehmen. Ohne den finanziellen Beistand Deutschlands und Frankreichs hätte Griechenland seine Zahlungsunfähigkeit erklären müssen. Ich möchte nicht das Chaos erleben, dass dann eingetreten wäre. Griechenland wäre gezwungen gewesen, aus dem Euro auszusteigen.. Ehrlich gesagt, nach meiner Meinung wäre das für alle Beteiligten besser gewesen. Man hätte sich vertragskonform verhalten und die unselige und kostspielige Rettungsspirale vermieden. So wird mit unserem Steuergeld die Konkurserklärung Griechenlands verschleppt.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Aditec
      You do realise that this is 2014 and NOT 1939 don’t you?

      The Greeks are prone to corruption BUT please don’t let kids starve or people be deprived of medical treatment just because they are having difficulty OBEYING THE RULES!

      HAVE A HEART!!

    • avatar
      Marcel

      @Aditec
      The EU told Greece to hide its debts (and even suggested Goldman as an intermediary). The EU had a vested political (not monetary) interest in getting as many countries as possible in the Euro. Greece hiding its debt was the EU’s idea (specifically: Santer’s idea).

  8. avatar
    Paul X

    Why not, it certainly wont be the first EU rule that France has ignored?

    ……and while were at it better allow the UK to ignore the rule that claims it owes 2 Billion Euros

  9. avatar
    Jaume Roqueta

    yes of course, rules are only for small countries or poor people… rich people and aristocrats don need to follow them.. .they rule for the other people… As I said… ANARCHY for the Rich!… Comunism for the poor… this is the lema of mosto of the european countries… my question! does Germany has to follow the rules? why Merkel put in our constitution we have to pay debts befor paying social services? Do the germans have this in their constitution? obioulsy not!… will germany agree to don’t do referendums because other people of europe tells them to not do it (Like in greece?) obiously not!… so please, humans were made to serve the BCE and FMI, so thats all.

  10. avatar
    catherine benning

    Time to face facts EU. So many of the wealthier countries in particular are not liking numerous sections of the rules and regulations associated with your club. So, you have to ask a couple of questions. 1) Why don’t they like them and therefore why did they sign up to them? 2) One can only assume when they put their cross in the box they didn’t understand what they were getting into and now that these club rules have raised their ugly heads, they want to renege on the deal. Or, 3) Is it their people who refuse to accept the impositions forced on them without their consent or knowledge, now they clearly see what these changes are doing to the once culturally content countries they used to be?

    Either the EU alters its ill thought out policies and learn to toe the line, or, this bonne idée is going to fall apart. As the old saying goes, ‘pride before a fall.’ Unless you group together and accept the way you have deliberately and undemocratically tried to change the very essence of what made Europe great, you will all be out on your ear with no payroll. That should catch your attention.

    You have to, like it or not, listen to your citizens and allow yourself to humbly accept, as any democracy should, being led from the bottom up, not from your ludicrous pedestal of deaf ears down.

    France isn’t going to conform and neither is the UK. They cannot afford to as that will lead to their countries revolution in real terms. An army won’t be able to hem them in, there are too many against your manipulative game playing in their societies.

    • avatar
      John Karakalos

      Well said Catherine!

    • avatar
      Tim French

      Touché. :)

  11. avatar
    Gerry Mavrie-Yanaki

    We have a flawed FEDERAL Euro-zone currency system that needs to change without the corresponding FEDERAL Structures to supprt a federal curency system like the Euro and we need changes drastically towards, a more Federal Euro-zone as a result.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Gerry Mavrie-Yanaki
      The French MUST do what their German masters command.

      France must follow EU orders rules.

  12. avatar
    Jorge Qoqe

    ‘Rescue’ its a beautiful word to mean to take the sovereignty of other coutries. It couldn’t work with Spain. Now it’s France’s turn… and we will realized that everything was a false explanation. Austericity it’s not going to fix Europe… Everything it’s a lie… a lie in order to Neoliberalism let win the ‘game’…

  13. avatar
    Patrice Puchaux

    I understand the anger and what my country does is not fair on smaller country members of EU, but unfortunately we don’t have the choice. France has a lot of problem with debt and unemployment, if we respect the EU budget this year we sink. I, and also my country, support EU but not in the conveniences of the people. Hollande did what he had to do, sorry fof that but I think you can understand.

    • avatar
      Marcel

      I don’t care. Stop breaking the rules, and do what is needed.

      Or leave the EU and the Euro. We won’t pay for your bankrupt pension and welfare system nor will we pay your debts and have common debt.

    • avatar
      aditec

      Es geht nicht um Wut, sondern um Vertragstreue und Verlässlichkeit. Die wirtschaftlichen und finanziellen Probleme Frankreichs sind ja nicht plötzlich aufgetreten, sondern habe eine lange Vorlaufzeit. Vorrausschauende und solide Politiker hätten schon längst Gegenmaßnahmen ergreifen müssen. Es sei denn, dass Frankreich nie die Absicht hatte, den Vertrag von Maastricht einzuhalten. Und so sieht es aus.

  14. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    the So we should NOT pay the 1.7 Billion and France should tell the eu to get stuffed.

  15. avatar
    Richard Osborne

    have to agree Dave…..you can’t force one country to pay a billl and let another one have their own way

  16. avatar
    Alex Lexva

    No France should toe in the line like all EU countries. What s the point of having rules in the first place? Else change the rules to reflect different scenarios and reality.

  17. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    We would all be better off without the eu and its uneleted nobodies troughing it up on our money.

    • avatar
      bert van santen

      Judging the fast growing numbers, the European population believes the same solution. Let`s move forward to the EC 2.0. Working closely together where we can, but each country responsable for it`s own financial kitchen.
      But the politicians or bankers will not accept this fact because it means loosing the profitable luxury pillow in Brussels and the free European tax payers money (bankunion) .
      For every EC member`s economy, operating without the demanding rules of the EU, it will be the best solution.
      Currently, we have a lost decade in finance, grow and development.
      For myself, I`ll rather pay a decade long higher financial costs for the EC 2.0 but with the knowledge that my two grandchildren will have a future, then, facing another decade of financial mismanagement in Brussels, as we have seen since 2002.

  18. avatar
    João Duarte

    No – it shouldn’t, especially since many of the intervened countries (Portugal, Greece) are doing extraordinary sacrifices to reac those goals, with weaker economies and in many ways austerity validated by France. If France is a leading country, then lead by example.

  19. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    If want a sustainable currecy Europe France would have to follow the rules I believe in capitalism and legal reforms

  20. avatar
    Diogo

    It is really true what Dominique Riquet said: France is a big player, too big to fail. But we need to consider the position of the rest of european countries. I’m portuguese and I can say that here we did a lots of sacrifices for the our economic. Well we respect the UE rules and they said that we don’t have any way else. Respect europeans rules is essential, because if France can say “No, I will don’t respect the rules” they will create a bad exemple for the future. As a portuguese I think if France don’t respect the rules, Portugal don’t need to respect the rules either. I know that France is a big player, but more than countries and economies we are talk about people. For the recovery of our economy in Portugal, a lots of people lost their job, lost their wealth, and millions of portuguese people went to other countries, essentially the young and formed people. Now, in respect of UE rules we are poorer than ever, we need to pay until 2045 (will be more years, I can guess). The UE treaties spoke about equality, If France Don’t Respect the treaties what equality they are talking about? Now, in my opinion, we only have tow solutions: first we respect the rules and isn’t important the name of the country, or second, we change the rules. Nevertheless we need to maintain the countries equality, otherwise, the UE will be not sustainable.

    • avatar
      Marcel

      If you left the EU and dropped the Euro, you’d be better off. Why don’t you do it?

    • avatar
      Diogo Duarte

      Actually I prefer to stay in eurozone as portuguese. I don’t see better conditions without the euro. Return to the old coin will be a disaster. I know you can change the valour of the coin and attract some companies to here, but we would be weak as a country, in perspective of our economy. With or without euro, in Portugal we have a bigger problem: corruption. I just want to give you an example: our vice-prime-minister is involved in two processes of corruption in terms of military equipment. The contracts about this business have disappeared. In Greece and Germany, two countries involved in this business, they have condemned those responsible for this (corrupt) business. Here (in Portugal) the responsible is the second most important man in government. Can you explain me that? Our justice don’t want to cooperate with german and greek justice. Why they are so afraid? I know that portuguese people are looked as lazy people but we work a lot, more hours per day than the rest of europe. Work is not the problem, is our productivity that is lower. We have another problem: bureaucracy. Our productivity is lower because here we have too much bureaucracy. We can not trust in public services because they are bad and they aren’t connected each other. For example, if you need some stuff from finance department and after that you need to go to social security, for sure that you need to print a lot of papers just to comprove that you are you and not someone else. It was better if they can access your data from the computer (just in public services). It will be quicker, easier and you will save a lots of hours. But , of course, it is a small example.

    • avatar
      ewropano

      Then change the rules…

      Si les règles du jeu sont telles qu’aucun politicien n’a le courage de les énoncer clairement avant de se faire élire (du moins en France), alors le mieux est d’en changer.

      Excepté pour une minorité, la monnaie unique et le capitalisme néolibéral ont entraîné une dégradation du niveau de vie. C’est pourquoi on assiste à une montée des partis extrémistes. Je ne comprends pas pourquoi on s’acharne, plutôt que de changer de politique.
      Cela pose clairement le problème de la compatibilité entre démocratie et accords internationaux, lorsque ceux-ci ne bénéficient pas d’une large publicité.

    • avatar
      Marcel

      You might be weak with your own currency, but it seems you are even weaker without it.

      Plus that with your own currency, and leaving the undemocratic EU you’d be a democracy again, whereas in the EU you are nothing but a vassal state taking orders from the imperial center in Brussels. They do not care about you, Brussels doesn’t care, it only cares about huge corporations and banks.

      Better off out.

  21. avatar
    Enrico De Zanni

    Don’t u think EU budget rules are too strong??? at least all of us are living quite worse thas 10 years ago and it doesn’t depent only on economic crisis

    • avatar
      Marcel

      Just leave the EU and the Euro and your country would be instantly better off?\

      Why don’t you want to be better off? Why cling to that which destroys you, namely the Euro (designed to enrich bankers at your expense).

  22. avatar
    bert van santen

    No, but what does it matter? They did the same as Germany in 2003-2004.
    The EU politicians bend the EU rules as they wish in their advantage.

  23. avatar
    Nuno Sardinha

    As Portuguese, after all the effort we had to do to comply with the EU budget rules, I consider completely unacceptable that a country like France, only because it is a big country and the second largest economy in Europe, can enjoy a exceptional regime in relation to others that are smaller like Portugal or Greece.
    The EU budget rules are too strong? Maybe YES! But the rules of 2014/2015 were the same as in 2011/2012 and at the time Portugal, Greece and Ireland did not enjoy any exceptional regime and the French Government has never been on the same side with these small countries to amending this EU budget rules opting instead for “hand-in-hand economic policy” with Berlin

  24. avatar
    Marcel

    The French have always been the leading obstructionist throughout EEC/EU history, they’ve blocked or ignored more regulations than the rest combined.

    The French government assumes it can get Germany and others to pay for its bankrupt banks, its bankrupt government, its bankrupt pension system and its bankrupt welfare system. They really believe in common debt, which to France means: France spends, someone else pays.

    The French are also the leading force behind the racist elements of the Common Agricultural Policy where African products are shut out of EU country’s markets, and yet French farmers can dump surpluses in Africa to their hearts content, destroying many viable commercial farms in Africa in the process.

    And this added to the financial-economic-monetary stranglehold in which France keeps its former colonies. Draconian treaties of which only France and the local elites benefit, keeping the masses in former French colonies poor so France can profit.

  25. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    When you are big you make the rules… Not an equal Europe, rather a plutocracy where the rich elites of the rich countries call the shots.. To have the nerve to say that we can not be subjected in the same rules as others is infuriating and arrogant… But that shows the mentality of the ruling elites of these nations. There is no surprise there of course, they are very used to robbing other nations of their wealth, they have been practicing this for centuries. They have perfected this practice..Ireland Greece and Portugal had to sell out every national resource they had to multinational companies from Germany and France in order to be bailed out.. This money went to stabilize the banks, who were in the first place part of the French German British or American banks.. So in other words, because French banks wanted their money secured, Greece had to be bailed out and sell everything to French multinational companies. Do you get what this is? And now the French have the nerve to say that we can not go through the same process because we are too big to fail. Well why didn’t they let Ireland and Greece to fail, instead they forced them in bail outs AND to sell out their natural resources? If they want their EU pet project to succeed they better start playing with the rules..The pot is boiling and there is a lot of public anger out there.. Once it erupts, it will be too late…

    • avatar
      aditec

      Am Anfang stand die ungehemmte Schuldenaufnahme durch Griechenland. Die Griechen haben sich für dieses Geld einen Wohlstand gegönnt, den sie nicht durch eigene Anstrengungen verdient haben. Jetzt auf die Kreditgeber zu schimpfen ist billig Wenn ich einen Kredit aufnehme, dann muss ich mir auch Gedanken über seine Rückzahlung machen. Tue ich das nicht, dann muss ich mir den Vorwurf des Betrugs gefallen lassen,

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Jahwol Herr Commandat!! Siegel Heil!!!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris
      Have you got a link about which US banks the PIIGS financially propped up please as your assertion seems verrrry interesting.

      Thank you.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Tarquin the eurozone crisis was imported by the mess in the US banks! The financial crisis started in the US by their incompetent handling of their banking system.. Incompetent and corrupt to the bone! Then since all European banks are interlinked between them and with those of the US, the American debt became part of the European problem! In other words, US exported its debt to Europe through the banks!! Is that enough for you? You may aloof need to use your own brain instead of relying on “links”…!

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Tarquin the eurozone crisis was imported by the mess in the US banks! The financial crisis started in the US by their incompetent handling of their banking system.. Incompetent and corrupt to the bone! Then since all European banks are interlinked between them and with those of the US, the American debt became part of the European problem! In other words, US exported its debt to Europe through the banks!! Is that enough for you? You may also need to use your own brain instead of relying on “links”…!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris
      1…Your inability to provide a link reinforces my opinion that your assertion was in fact INCORRECT.

      2…I know Greece has been suffering as a consequence of its endemic corrupt politicos and German-inspired EU onerous stipulations BUT please try not to use hackneyed stereotypical and discriminatory anti-German language.

    • avatar
      Christos Mouzeviris

      Rubbish as usual..The fact that unlike you I can use my brain and come to my own conclusions makes me intelligent, unlike you who base your “truths” on links of youtube, and every other disputable source..If you had the brain to put two things together and make up your own mind, I guess you would not fall for UKIP or any British nationalist propaganda!!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris
      I often find that those that talk about how intelligent they are, are often NOT intelligent.

      Please kindly provide me with a link supporting your bizarre/singular assertion, otherwise you do a great disservice to the credibility of your home country [the one that you escaped from] and more so YOURSELF.

      What country do you hail from again dear [displaced] chap?…

  26. avatar
    João De Lalanda Frazão

    pity that any one here notices the severity of the question discussed, since what’s at stake is, not the french economy itself, but the whole EU wide economy that is attached, not only to Paris, but to Italy, Spain, Greece, Pt and even Germany, who’s starting to signal the 1st expressions of the estagnationist environment in their outwards. so, is France allowed to break the rules? No. Does Europe needs to rethink structurally their strategy over the next decade? Y E S.

  27. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    “Should France be allowed to break EU deficit rules”?

    …by supporting reform- sovereignty of the 28 Members should be preserved to enable all to act within their best (financial) interest! One size does not fit everyone- & such rules should remain recommendations only!

    Citizens need to hold their home Governments accountable when (wasting) spending taxes unproductively- without boosting capacity to increase GDP. An EU nanny is not needed! The long & strong EU arm does not replace voter rights at home. Increased GDP usually reflect higher productivity, less unemployed & also increases capacity to service debt.

    The recent reported statements (UK, France & others in the past) highlights and confirms that strict adherence to EU rules are problematic and EU’s relevance is called into question by the same leaders!

    It exposes another paradox of the EU’s “negative bonus system” which rewards GDP under-performance and penalizes productivity/performance! The famous “EU social tranquilizer/equalizer”?

  28. avatar
    Anna Tserepas

    The EU is in a total mess as it is…..If France decides to break the rules…then I’m afraid I can see other countries following…..Perhaps this is the real reason behind all of this….and I wonder how this came about?…and who in reality is going to ‘gain’ out of this …

  29. avatar
    Annita Kalpaka

    Now that they should impose strict austerity and cut the welfare state of their own countries the rules are too strict. Ok we agree. Let’s amend then the rules for every member state.

  30. avatar
    Debby Teusink

    France can not break the rules because they’re not special. just another small European nation.

  31. avatar
    Olga Gioti Papadaki

    Although the rules are made to be kept, France must choose between two evils: on one side is the imposed austerity, and the other the advent of fascism and Marine Le Pen. This dilemma is not only France’s and the supposed caring Germany shoud be able to discern the problem and deal with it. If Europe made its choices on the basis of common interest and not national interest or national obsessions, dilemma would not have entered

    • avatar
      Marcel

      Equalized wealth across EU member states means vastly reduced wealth in Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Luxembourg ea

      It is an illusion to think wealth will eventually level out on the German level.

  32. avatar
    catherine benning

    France has a dilemma of this kind because the people voted for a non austerity government, a socialist party, and Hollande is hemmed in by Europe to apply the measures of Capitalism they are caught up in. Until Europe decides to direct it’s policies in line with the will of the majority of its citizens on economic as well as social policy, this dichotomy is going to grow. And, as I see it, will lead to the complete disintegration of the European Union we presently enjoy.

    Austerity is a ploy by big business and corporations to lower the pay and benefits of the tax payers who foot the bill, and mass immigration from outside Europe’s borders are connected to this policy. As well as the free movement of people from the poverty stricken in the Eastern States to the countries considered wealthy. Another con. The electorate and working man is well aware of what is going on, hence the rise in Le Pen and Farage. This discontent will only grow unless you cut ties with those who demand this lunatic ethos and stop spending our money on bombs. Following the pretence of the UK having moved into growth is a smokescreen we know is a mirage. They are fixing the figures via the Corporation called the City of London. It is as far removed from the working man and his living standard as you could get. Zero hour contracts are not part of a genuine working economy, they are a confidence trick which will only last until the next election. If it isn’t busted before that date. It’s a game being played by those in Westminster to save their own arses for another five years.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      AND the little ones!

  33. avatar
    MANDRAVELIS YIANNIS

    Riquet;s comment implies that austerity is bad and maybe catastrophic for France.Such a catastrophie for a big player (France) cannot be tolerated by E.U.So he proposes that austerity should be applied to smaller countries ,because, when they collapse EU has the ability to take care. I CANNOT UNDERSTAND THIS LOGIC

  34. avatar
    David Petty

    The rules? Who decides the rules? The unelected EU commission lol each country has to get out, we are all floundering because of the rules! Everyone get out now! Make the commission do some real work for a living or they really should be held accountable, prosecute them for the mess in public office they have caused!

  35. avatar
    Giannis Lainas

    For those naive thinking that this was no expected,i would advice to watch not getting hurting while they are falling from their clouds.It should be noted that the exact next year of when the agreement of -3/+3 (% on national bugdets) came into effect the first countries to break it,was France and Germany.It has happened again alrd…..this EU is nothing else than a hive of economic criminals that should be put to jail or worse.

  36. avatar
    aditec

    Welchen Wert haben Verträge und Regeln, deren Einhaltung im Ermessen des einzelnen Landes liegen? Dann kann man sich von vornherein die Mühe ersparen, Verträge zu schließen und Regeln aufzustellen. Das Ergebnis wird allgemeines Misstrauen sein. Aber Frankreich scheint eine Sonderrolle in Europa zu beanspruchen. Ihm kam es vor allem darauf an, den Deutschen die D-Mark, ihre “Atombombe” zu entwenden und Zugriff auf deutsche Ressourcen zu erhalten.Die Regeln im Maastricht-Vertrag waren nur der Köder, um die Deutschen in die Eurofalle tappen zu lassen.
    http://www.oekonomenstimme.org/artikel/2012/10/europaeische-integration-auf-deutsch-und-auf-franzoesisch/

  37. avatar
    George Yiannitsiotis

    France and Germany were the first two countries that broke the budget rules at the begining of the “euro-project” without being penalized by the EU Commission. Therefore, once again, it doesn’t matter: it simply proves that the EU is collapsing step-by-step! Regrettfully, this irreversible process would cause once more troubles for the peoples of Europe…
    Of cource, there is a simple way-out: put the blame on PIIGS!!!! (it was done by Germany at the begining of the crisis)

  38. avatar
    Marcel

    Maybe it would be for the best if the French simply flipped Brussels the bird like they always do. Reestablish French democracy and tell tax-dodge-enabler Juncker and his Eurosoviet to go to hell.

    France could even go back to the Franc and be better off, that would really show the Germans. But of course, the rich people that benefit from the Euro won’t let it happen.

  39. avatar
    klassen

    There shouldnt be these kinds of rules, these countries have their own laws and constitutions , unless of course someone isnt telling us the whole story.
    Are the goverments of europe still in control of their own countries or not, look at David Cameron , he barked but in the end had no bite? Told to get back to the doghouse?
    Have the countries of europe been dealt away in some backroom for the promise of whatever they promise these people and are we at the point of no return , a downward spiral that cant be stopped. Some or more of these countries have withstood the test of time and prosperity and innovation have always been the rule of thumb, and now to see them on thier knees for some idealistic idiot whom says that his way is better?
    If you ask me theres been a power shift right under the noses of all of us.
    The EU is changing, the old system is breathing its last breath and i worry what the future will bring in this new undemocratic monster called europe.
    Freedom and basic human rights are dwindeling, greed and corruption rule the day .
    In the netherlands we have no ruling or believable goverment anymore, its a fiasco , the television broadcasters only report what they think is positive for the eu (talking heads), nothing on tv about the riots in belgium, or other anti eu news and theres lots of it ,its continual feelgood, till its wakeup time, and boy will the dutch be in for a suprise when find theve been duped and thier country has turned into a poor eu province.
    All the dutch do is pay , at the cost of schools, healthcare, etc. They put in 10 euro and get 1 euro back, and Rutte says we cant do without Brussels, im sure we can!!
    I hope Brussels pays Rutte well for his deceit.
    Its not if they are allowed to break the rules, they cant break the rules even if they wanted to, fiscal or human suffering dont figure into the equasion..
    Its all about the EU.

  40. avatar
    Carla Dickson

    I’ve read all the comments above and if France, like Germany and England are leading countries within the EU they have been behaving like spoiled brats over the last decades. This causes the other countries a serious problem: no one respects spoiled brats and furthermore no one believes in a dictating rules Union whose major participants feel free to break whenever it suits them, but still impose those rules to others.

    In management this is called a break in the leading credibility! Brussels, we have a problem!!!

  41. avatar
    Spyros Kouvoussis

    No, it should be allowed to make its own bugdet decision because that means being a sovereign country. The “rules” were not the result of democratic procedures.

  42. avatar
    Ingo Wagner

    Everybody with common sense knew that the rules were too tight and that flexibility is key. Sending France downwards the austerity spiral does not help at all. But as long as Merkel is there, we cannot change anything. Germany will simply push (or drag) everyone downwards

  43. avatar
    Jude De Froissard

    Each country should be independent and sovereign within a european confederation or federation and the euro should be a common exchange currency and not what it is today.its value should be the mean of all the european currencies giving it this way attraction for all countries to support it and support each other and improve it within this european solidarity.

  44. avatar
    Josephine Cassar

    NO, fullstop. retirement age should be raised as in most respectable countries. We are already forking out enough for its CAP

  45. avatar
    Cristina Santos

    First stop global corruption in the governments of European countries; only after that countries can enforce the rules and grow. It’s not fair that taxpayers are forced to pay more austerity, if the government transparency is not guaranteed.

  46. avatar
    Sylvain Duret

    France is the only big coubtry of Union which lead war for freedom in Africa and Middle East and put instructor in Afghanistan…

  47. avatar
    David Petty

    No they should be expelled from the EU? Letting every other country see how much better off without the EU we all would be!

  48. avatar
    Alex Tselentis

    So Greece got financially raped, and still is being, and is forced to follow heavy austerity that even EU/IMF poltiicians have said were far to harsh, in too short a space, come along France and they get their own special “treatment” ?? Sounds like a dog show.

    • avatar
      Pedro

      Exactly, we in Portugal are still enforcing some harsh politics and austerity and they have the guts to tell us that others countries don’t need to do it? We were called PIIGS by the other countries and now they don’t want to taste their own medicine. It would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. EU will lost all credibility and as we say, Karma’s a bitch

  49. avatar
    Patricia Smith

    Of course they should not receive any extra time/rules/bending of each that the EU would not allow to other member states.

  50. avatar
    João Sargedas

    As a Portuguese, NO WAY!, If Portugal had to suffer (and still does at the ends of the UE, FMI and troika), France MUSTN’T have a special treatment!

  51. avatar
    Michael Doulakis

    No they should not … Instead they force choke Greece to swallow the vomit that TRoika coughed up … Simply appalling

  52. avatar
    Sophia-Maria Prentou

    So, ladies and gents what we have here is what one could call “double standard”. Because a country is named “France” (or anything else actually) gets to bend the rules, because it’s “big” or “important” or you can use whatever word you want. If it was “small” or belonged to the periphery, the rules would be followed to the t. This phenomenon applies everywhere in the international relations; from economic matters to foreign policy. This happens because, the law of the jungle still exists in all levels (national, regional and international level), and why should the EU not be a part of it?

  53. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    European aircraft door walks will still drift and France and its Eurozone parthers should follow the rules

  54. avatar
    Nicolas Sabatier

    Well may be the rules are the problem… France is not Germany and will never be. Same for Italy or Greece or Spain. Time to have an euro that reflects the needs if all European citizens, that is if you want to retain a single currency. It is not that France (although richest than ever, thus the paradox) will “fail”, but rather that the euro will crumble. As You can’t have an euro without France.

  55. avatar
    Mhitsos Xanthos

    To big to fail is only for the banks that Own France and the EU but not for individual countries.

  56. avatar
    Alexander Grech

    In 1990 rules were among other things to limit the borrowing of Gov inside the Euro to 3% of their GDP.Germany itself broke the rules with impunity in 2002–5. Now Germany has called for un even stricter system of rules and fines.

  57. avatar
    Tim L Tucker

    This shows that Europe is a major f-up. The rules have to be changed, it’s very simple, France as a great country should lead the way. In every single country of the Eurozone, extremist political parties are rising. All claiming independance. Things must change swiftly or France will be out of there by 2017. It would be a bad decision and a short term decision to solve the problem. We need to stick together and create another Europe that takes into account regional differences, and give the power to the people!

  58. avatar
    Andreas Berg Melson

    Well, the way I see it the problem is that the EU isn’t generating growth. Forcing France to lower it’s spending will only worsen this problem. Can you borrow forever? Obviously not. But we’re braking too hard in Europe. We’re braking bad

  59. avatar
    Gogo Ipi

    I believe no exceptions and no compromise. This state must equally observe the Union’s laws.

  60. avatar
    Gastone Losio

    What does it mean France? You are talking about Europe as people without memory, and brain!
    “The question which must be resolved first failing which progress is but mere appearance, is definitive abolition of division of Europe into national, sovereign States.”
    Altiero Spinelli, Ernesto Rossi, Eugenio Colorni, from Ventotene Manifesto, 08/1941

    Hurry up fellow Europeans!!!

  61. avatar
    Paolo Pedone

    L’aforisma del giorno : ” Non vero che abbiamo poco tempo : la verit che ne perdiamo molto .” ( Seneca )…

  62. avatar
    Victor Abreu

    No meu pas no existe margem para falhas. Se querem mais dinheiro vo simplesmente ao bolso dos contribuintes. Porque deveria a Frana, enquanto maior territorialmente, ter regras diferentes? Se uma Unio Europeia como o prprio nome designa porque no somos tratados todos iguais?

  63. avatar
    Nuno Sardinha

    ?France must be respected, it is a big country? these words were spoken by Manuel Valls, the French Prime Minister. So, the rules are only for small countries, like Portugal, Greece and Ireland??? I should like to remind Mr Valls that Portugal is doing extraordinary sacrifices: loss of purchasing power and unemployment; to reach those goals and this austerity policy was validated by French Government and by the European Commission.
    Is true, France is a big, important and leading country in Europe and I hope France can lead by example!!!

  64. avatar
    Nuno Sardinha

    ?France must be respected, it is a big country? these words were spoken by Manuel Valls, the French Prime Minister. So, the rules are only for small countries, like Portugal, Greece and Ireland??? I should like to remind Mr Valls that Portugal is doing extraordinary sacrifices: loss of purchasing power and unemployment; to reach those goals and this austerity policy was validated by French Government and by the European Commission.
    Is true, France is a big, important and leading country in Europe and I hope France can lead by example!!!

  65. avatar
    Arif Buda

    Everyone should be allowed to break the fiscal rules. This is beyond a moral issue of following the law. You cannot subject millions of lives to the failed measures of austerity, a cruel human experiment at best, which has proven to push the Eurozone to the brink of deflation, with interest rates near zero and nowhere further below to go, and the ECB still holding out on QE when it has shown to be a primary factor behind Japan’s break of the deflationary spiral a couple months back and rates of 3.9% growth in America, aswell as the lack of any reasonable amount of fiscal stimulus to create jobs.

  66. avatar
    Csaba Méri

    Germany did the same in 2003… Everyone is equal, but some are “more equal” in this great Union of ours…

  67. avatar
    Pablo GC

    Should break EU budget rules for solidarity with its f***n citizens

  68. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    The only one who broke not only the rules, but also the fundamental principles of EU, isn’t France, but Germany!
    Wake up!!! You’re destroying EU, with unpredictable consequences!

  69. avatar
    Prince du Sang

    Yes, and get out of the EU.

    The EU is neither European, nor a Union, its American and an empire.

  70. avatar
    Pedro Costa

    Hollande is the most pathetic major political leader this Union has known.
    As for the french, non non.
    The rules you set to rescue your own banks abroad now haunts you back and you should taste it caustically like we (portuguese) did.

    Let them eat cake!

  71. avatar
    George Yiannitsiotis

    Breaking the rules is common sense in the EU: first of all, Germany broke the rules in the 1990s (this particular rule of budget deficit) using as pretext the cost of re-unification. Then, France did it and Germany could not detter them. Now France again, seems ready to break it again in order to avoid depression (caused by the euro-structure); however, it is difficult to break the rule against a fierce, neo-nazionalist German empire without its national currency. Game over for Germany.

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