Paris, Jan 30 (IANS) French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Sunday that the spiralling financial crisis had subsided as efforts to restore stability in the Eurozone had borne fruit.
“Today, with caution, I think we can say that the elements of financial stability in the world and Europe are placed. The adopted measures had contributed to the stability,” Sarkozy said in a TV interview to unveil his economic reforms to deal with the crisis.
“The financial crisis subsides. Europe is no longer at the edge. We must now devote all our efforts to solve the economic crisis,” he added.
Sarkozy’s TV address came just less than three months before the French presidential elections although he has yet officially announced his candidacy, Xinhua reported.
In the TV interview, the French president refused to say whether he was running in the April election. Instead, he outlined a series of “strong” measures for fighting unemployment and enhancing France’s economic competitiveness amid a long-running Eurozone crisis and what many economists believe is a mild recession in France.
Among the “strong” measure, Sarkozy announced an increase of 1.6 percent in value added tax (VAT) to 21.2 percent from Oct 1, aiming to reduce employers’ contributions, and the creation of a 1-billion euro ($1.3 billion) corpus to inject new blood into small and medium enterprises in February.
Sarkozy insisted that the reform will reduce labour costs and enhance competitiveness.
Analysts said the more than hour-long live broadcast on the country’s main four channels was part of Sarkozy’s implicit campaign to regain voters’ confidence after a “failed policy” which fuelled unemployment and decelerated growth.