The Chirac government’s declared aim was to re-establish the French economy as a significant force in Western Europe. Behind this assertion lay the implication that under the previous Socialist administration ineffective management and inappropriate policies (nationalisation, longer holidays, increases in companies’ tax and social security payments) had damaged the country’s economic performance. To achieve its goal, the government advocated a new approach, centred on the idea of reducing the state’s direct role in the economy and symbolised by a major programme of privatisation. However, this liberalising philosophy went much further, to encompass the general environment in which business operates. Thus, it was proposed to give firms greater liberty in fixing prices, in their dealings with foreign customers and in determining the size of their workforces and the manner in which they were organised.
KeywordsForeign Trade Trade Deficit Strike Action Stock Market Crash Major Competitor
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