French PM Manuel Valls tells London: I’m pro-business

Chris Papadopoullos
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Manuel Valls (right) is a pro-business reformer
France's socialist prime minister Manuel Valls yesterday announced he was pro-business in a London speech and revealed several structural reforms he hoped would revive his country’s worsening economy.

Number one on the list was scrapping the 75 per cent top rate of tax, which Valls said would expire at the end of this year. So far, the tax hike has failed to get the French governments budget under control.

The French government recently said it would miss its fiscal deficit targets by a further two years, hit­ting three per cent of GDP in 2017 as opposed to 2015.

Other reforms included extending shop opening times to Sundays and scrapping or extending the 35-hour working week, which is something of a sacred cow in France.

There is reason to be optimistic that these reforms will become reality. Valls recently caused a stir by proclaim­ing his love of business and recently dismissed economy minister Arnaud Monetebourg who once authored a book arguing against globalisation.

Valls replaced him with former banker Emmanuel Macron.

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