French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced last week his government’s plan to “fight racism” to much fanfare. The cause is a worthy one (who can be against fighting racism?), but sadly the plan is a disaster.The government wants to make it much easier to ban any online content deemed to be racist or to be “promoting hatred.” One might ask why the urgency when, according to the official figures, hate crimes are down 16 percent from last year. Macron clearly feels it's an issue that resonates with voters.The problem with the flash bans on hateful speech is obvious: collateral damage to speech that should be protected in democracies, including of course speech that is hugely distasteful to many. It's exactly for this reason that the new rules go too far. France has historically been one of the most restrictive nations when it comes to speech, after Germany. While Germany’s specific neuroses regarding its Nazi past make its extremely … [Read more...] about France’s Ban on Hate Speech Goes Too Far
A French company might win the British government’s call for bids to print blue post-Brexit British passports, a decision that sparked controversy in the UK. EURACTIV’s partner Ouest-France reports. The new post-Brexit passport could be made by a French company, as reported by the British press on 22 March, a decision seen as “a national humiliation” by pro-Brexiters. According to the British daily The Telegraph, French digital security specialist Gemalto is about to win the tender ahead of British company De La Rue, which has produced the burgundy passports up until this point. A British icon “It is a disappointing and surprising decision,” said Martin Sutherland the head of De La Rue to the BBC. “Over the last few months we have heard ministers happy to come on the media and talk about the new blue passport and the fact that it is an icon of British identity,” referring to the fact that the new passports would abandon the European … [Read more...] about Britain’s post-Brexit passport, fabriqué en France?
France’s best budget figures in a decade are no reason for complacency and President Emmanuel Macron knows it.Data published Monday showed the nation’s budget gap amounted to 2.6 percent of output in 2017, the first time since 2007 it’s been below the 3 percent European Union limit.The improvement was partly due to faster economic growth boosting tax receipts, and the government still has spade work to do to cut spending and reduce the debt ratio. Amid growing protests throughout the country, Macron has yet to lay out a road map, though ministers have defended his current policies.“France has made good on its promises,” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on France Info radio on Monday. “This is proof that the president’s strategy to straighten out the budget is the right one.”Ten months into the job, Macron is facing rising discontent from pensioners, rail workers and civil servants after pushing through a landmark labor-market reform, … [Read more...] about France’s Best Budget Gap in a Decade Won’t Mean Complacency
Europe 26 March 2018 Share this with Facebook Share this with Twitter Share this with Messenger Share this with Messenger Share this with Email Share Share this with These are external links and will open in a new window Email Share this with Email Facebook Share this with Facebook Messenger Share this with Messenger Messenger Share this with Messenger Twitter Share this with Twitter Pinterest Share this with Pinterest WhatsApp Share this with WhatsApp LinkedIn Share this with LinkedIn Copy this link http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43539728 Read more about sharing. These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel The girlfriend of the man who carried out last week's attack in south-west France was known to the security services, local media report.A source close to the investigation told the AFP news agency the 18-year-old French woman, … [Read more...] about Police ‘knew’ France attacker’s partner
France's deficit was 2.6 percent of GDP in 2017, compared to 3.4 percent in 2016, the French statistics office said Monday. It is the first time since 2007 that the deficit is under the three percent target required by EU rules. France, along with Spain, is one of the two EU countries still under an excessive deficit procedure and 2017 was the last deadline to avoid a sanction procedure. … [Read more...] about [Ticker] France’s deficit under 3% for first time in 10 years