Press with Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe
Ladies and gentlemen, I was very pleased to receive today, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai. France had hosted last November. He was then president of the Movement for Democratic Change party won the parliamentary elections of March 2008, and I am pleased to welcome the Prime Minister of the Government of National Unity.
I want to salute her courage and I want to salute his determination. Mr. Prime Minister, you have the challenge of peace on behalf of the people, and you should know that on this challenge, France supports you. With the Prime Minister, we discussed the new economic policy he has initiated. The Government has made tough choices, including the use of foreign currency to boost the economy. It has achieved spectacular results, including by ending the hyper inflation.
Price liberalization has helped to put an end to shortages, the plan has convinced and led the International Monetary Fund to resume its assistance. It is also important that the commitment to reform is political, whether the holding of free elections, which are provided in the Agreement of September 2008, or whether the adopting a new constitution that respects fundamental freedoms.
We know that it will take time, but these reforms must be initiated now. The European tour that you, Mr. Prime Minister, has allowed Brussels to revive the political dialogue between the EU and Zimbabwe. The European Union is determined to support the restoration of the rule of law and the resumption of economic activity in Zimbabwe.
It is of course a gradual process, but this dialogue is necessary and I told the Prime Minister that France would use its influence within the European Union to ensure a successful outcome in soon as possible. Finally, the European Union and France will continue its assistance for the people of Zimbabwe, people who are very severely affected by the economic situation.
The European Union remains the main donor of Zimbabwe, with an annual aid to the population of 80 million euros through the European Development Fund, which France is the first contributor. As part of our bilateral relations, France has concentrated its assistance in two areas, the food and the fight against AIDS.
Since early 2008, our assistance amounted to about 9 million. I told the Prime Minister that we will continue, and we decided to examine a range of priority areas on which the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe to ask for the support of France. Mr Joyandet will have an opportunity in the coming weeks to address these priority requests. Here, I summarize in one sentence the meaning of the conversations that we had: France has confidence in Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his Government to restore the rule of law in Zimbabwe.
France is careful to ensure that rapid results are obtained, but France is behind the Government of Zimbabwe to enable it to engage and achieve reconciliation necessary what the people of Zimbabwe.
François Fillon supports the challenge of peace and the rule of law in Zimbabwe
François Fillon received, Thursday 25 June, Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, which finished in Paris an international tour nearly three weeks.
At the end of an interview, François Fillon praised the courage and determination of the government of national unity: "Mr. Prime Minister, you have the challenge of peace on behalf of the people, and you should know that on this challenge, France supports you. "
Central issue, raised so far: the new economic policy initiated by Morgan Tsvangirai. "The government has made hard choices, including the use of foreign currency to boost the economy. It has achieved spectacular results, including by ending the hyper inflation. Price liberalization has helped to put an term shortages, the plan has convinced and led the International Monetary Fund to resume its technical assistance, "said François Fillon.
Finally, summing up in one sentence the meaning of the interviews, François Fillon has assured that "France has confidence in Prime Minister Tsvangirai and his government to restore the rule of law in Zimbabwe. France is mindful that quick results are obtained, but France is behind the government of Zimbabwe to enable it to engage and achieve reconciliation necessary what the people of Zimbabwe. "
Read the press with Morgan Tsvangirai
Prime Minister responds to french questions about France's position on "the practical support to Zimbabwe:" you have an agreement in principle to support Zimbabwe in the different priorities that will be defined in the coming months. Is Do the amounts have been mentioned or is it going to decide on a case by case, depending on the projects which will be presented to you how it's going to happen?
François Fillon: I indicated to the Prime Minister, first, that we will maintain the level of aid that France brings in Zimbabwe today, but we all discuss the allocation of this aid to the priorities expressed by Prime Minister. I indicated then that France was determined to renegotiate the debt of Zimbabwe under the rules of the Paris Club, but with a specific offer from France, which is to convert this debt into development projects that France would finance the Zimbabwe. And finally, I indicated that France would support all initiatives to be taken in the dialogue between the EU and Zimbabwe to increase EU aid to Zimbabwe as we made progress, that the Prime Minister himself with his wishes to the Government, in restoring the rule of law in Zimbabwe. So it is a process that will unfold throughout the coming months, where everyone must move forward and fulfill its commitments, and this discussion we decided today to launch.
Prime Minister's visit to the company B. Braun Medical SAS Nogent-le-Rotrou (Eure-et-Loir)
The text of the speech by the Prime Minister
"Ladies and gentlemen elected officials and parliamentarians,
Mr CEO of B-Braun,
Speaker B-Braun France,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me begin, Mr. President, thank you for welcoming me in a company which is a splendid symbol of the complementarity of cultures and knowledge of France and Germany. Let me tell you that I visit many companies, I am always well received, but rarely with as much heat and you feel that, through the reception I received, the mood which is the staff of this company, and I imagine that it owes much to the management of the company, yourself, your President of B. Braun France, and methods that you have to 'being raised.
Too often we forget that Europe is not just about institutions, a technocratic construction is first and foremost a human, which is made of cooperation, which is made of spontaneous connections between people . And the role of institutions is to facilitate these comparisons, no limit and no complications. Maybe everyone will see this statement in what I like, that Europe will be in the coming years, especially that it needs to be strengthened in a global competition, which you yourself have pointed out that it was extremely vive.
That's all the reasons why I am very happy to visit your company, which is also - and I would not like you see any chauvinism on my part - a beautiful symbol of the attractiveness of France.
Our country welcomes 23,000 foreign companies, which employ nearly 3 million employees and if that appeal is resistant to crisis, because it rests on solid foundations.
A skilled workforce, which we have here an example, efficient infrastructure, and bold and courageous entrepreneurs. And it gives me an opportunity to pay tribute to all business leaders and more specifically to those of Eure-et-Loir region or the Center. I am in a situation in a context that I know it is extremely difficult. Industrial restructuring succeed. The employment situation is extremely tense. Years of effort are sometimes caught in a few days by the economic storm that blew across the world. That is why the government is very mobilized to accompany you, particularly under the plan.
Everyone feels that we are in a transition phase. Since the bursting of the global crisis, we had to act in an emergency. With our European and international partners, we did what we had first to stop the financial crisis and to mitigate its impact on the economy. And now it is time to start thinking about how to rethink our whole system to build the foundations of future prosperity and avoid being in the situation we have experienced.
We must move our resources and efforts towards goals for the future: a french renovated, reinvented capitalism, more sustainable development and a fairer globalization. That is what we invited the President last Monday before the Congress.
To prepare for the future, Mr. Chairman, you might think there's any irony to visit a company established in 1939 and now part of a German group of 170 years old. Well, there is no paradox because the capitalism of the future, invent it and it turns with you, thanks to talent management, creative and motivated employees. In group B. Braun, where 38,000 employees in 55 countries, we know that globalization can be good if we can seize it. Here, in the field of medical devices, we know that the ultimate goal of a company is to meet consumer needs is to improve the lives of men. I know that this is the case for all companies that are met here today with us. Here, we have understood, Sir, in your group, that sound management, a growth strategy wise, were irreplaceable advantages in addressing the crisis.
Here, we know that wealth comes from work, it is born of the effort, it arises from the production, not speculation or chance. Here, after five generations, that transformed the world leader in a pharmacy in a small provincial town of Germany, we know that family capitalism is nothing tacky. We know that labor is not a sale and you can invent social balance without paying the employer paternalism or the chimera of self. Here, no future, we strive every day to invent the technologies of the future.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our country must answer questions that the crisis makes it more urgent than ever.
What country are we leaving our children?
Which sectors will be the future prosperity of our economy?
What do we want solidarity between the generations?
What are the consequences of our choices they entail for future generations?
What constraints are we prepared to make to preserve our environment?
It should - it is our responsibility - now identify the strategic priorities of the next twenty years.
In all periods hinges, our country has been able to agree on some main lines of development. After the war, it was the reconstruction, focusing on infrastructure and the productive. Our industries have been organized by major programs. In the 1960s, it began to develop new sectors: nuclear, space, aeronautics.
Meanwhile, large movements of concentration and a policy of "national champions" were our response to growing international competition. In the 1970s, to offset the speed of the traditional industry, the focus has been on major technology projects: the TGV, Airbus, Ariane.
In the 1980s, after a failed attempt to industry leaders, we did everything possible to unlock the business potential. Finally, in 1990, were laid the foundations of our present industrial policy, for small and medium-sized enterprises and innovation.
Well, I think, a new project is more necessary than ever. And I believe we must first confirm the progress we have made in recent years. We have, in particular through the appointment of Hervé Novelli, I want here, welcome, provided a unique impetus to the policy of supporting SMEs.
In our country, start a business has long been an obstacle course, as it probably existed nowhere else in the major developed countries. I think we have made great progress to ensure that entrepreneurship is no longer a mission impossible. It is true that there are still difficulties, but these difficulties are now responsible for growing these companies to change size, as to create them. We took with Hervé Novelli, to grips with this problem and I mean that we get now results.
Reducing the tax on capital for SMEs, the reform of the tax credit, which now puts us at the best among all OECD countries in supporting research and the innovation, the removal of the fixed annual tax (IFA), reduction of payment deadlines, these are all measures which are intended, once cruising speed, muscle capital of small and medium enterprises.
To go further, we decided to abolish the tax for all new investments made in 2009 and from 2010, we will remove it entirely.
We gave high priority to SMEs in the plan. The auto pact aims to consolidate the industry as a whole and thus benefits to subcontractors. The 11 billion euros of public investment we have committed to the plan for broad benefits to SMEs, including those of building and public works. With the early repayment of the tax credit, with the early repayment of the carry back of corporate taxes and the monthly repayment of VAT, we have continuously monitored during this period to bolster the liquidity of companies, because we knew it was a strategic issue.
We have implemented the mediation of credit, which has already been approached by 12,500 companies. We changed the rules of registration privileges. Last May, I met the credit insurers asking them to make commitments to better handle cases of companies and better inform the insured.
The ombudsman is responsible for credit check daily that these commitments are kept. I have also asked Christine Lagarde to examine the possibility that the state intervene in the credit insurance short-term export. I know that, again, the credit insurers make decisions sometimes too abrupt, destabilizing our exporters.
Our goal is simple: the model that we created for the national credit insurance, we want to establish a public that will secure up to one billion intercompany loan between France and abroad.
I announce that this scheme will be operational from the beginning and it will be an asset for our exporters in the global turmoil.
With the acceleration of investment in equipment and infrastructure, what we are trying to do is to give fuel to our economy, but at the same time ensuring that these efforts lead to upgrade our infrastructure, to modernize our economy. It gives me concern that not increase the deficit to just operating costs, structural costs, expenses that will be renewed year after year, but the means to inject the few we have in the revival of 'productive economy.
But as you know me, it is not enough to prepare for the future. We must be as capable of progress in training, research, innovation, if we are to maintain our position in global competition.
This is what we have done since two years with the reform so difficult for the autonomy of universities. In all major countries of the world, universities are autonomous, which means that they have strategies to bring businesses, to bring research laboratories. Well, it took us twenty-five years to convince our citizens that it was necessary to implement the autonomy of universities. This was not easy, done. Now, eighteen universities in France have already chosen the status of autonomy, nineteen will choose from 1 January next year and I hope that by 2012, almost all or all of the French universities have the autonomous status which allows them to enter fully into the international competition.
We have implemented a campus plan to ensure that our universities are more welcoming. We have boosted innovation policy including providing additional resources to OSEO.
But this line was already a priority, we will further strengthen in the coming months.
It is a major condition to develop the sector of the future:
- Digital - whether nanotechnology or software - which irrigates a growth of all industries;
- Biotechnology, to meet the challenges of increased spending on health and aging;
- Environmental technologies, to meet the challenge of global warming and more broadly to the need to take account of human activity on the environment;
- The car of the future to translate in our modes of travel disruptions of our time.
I think one of the best tools available to us to unlock creativity, the poles of competitiveness, providing the meeting between the three innovation actors: companies, universities and research organizations.
We went, with regard to this policy, a sprinkling of logic to a logic of concentration of aid on ambitious projects. We decided we had a few months, give new impetus to the policy of competitive clusters. We limit the new labels of clusters, to develop the most effective and promising. Regarding funding, we already allocate 1.5 billion euros this policy on the next three years.
We need the implementation of the priorities for the coming years is available through the political poles of competitiveness, which requires that they are naturally helped that the competitiveness clusters who deserve it. It is important that our country gets used to this culture of competition, evaluation and breaks with that egalitarianism leads to help everyone, because, of course, all areas need public support, but which leads waste of public resources which are so necessary to help fuel the growth of the national economy.
These key priorities will completely integrate the logic of the new green growth. The crisis in fact, ladies and gentlemen, does not simply left the financial system. In reality, the crisis of breath devotes an entire production model and it challenges us to invent new social relations and new production systems. In both cases, to put man at the center of economic activity.
One of the keys to sustainable development, innovation. What I would like to say is that ecology and economics are not opposed. I think that is one of the main contributions of Grenelle of the environment have put an end to years of misunderstanding on this subject.
There were those at the bottom, who believed that the only way to protect the planet was to stop growth and eventually stop the production and those who think that green could be a hindrance to economic development.
We are, France, Germany, the major European countries to combine efforts to protect the environment and at the same time, the need for our economic growth.
Putting people at the center of economic development is also what you do here, through medical research. The increase in life expectancy, the growing concern for the health, development of medical technologies are absolute progress of civilization. These developments give us huge economic benefits.
But the truth is that we do not always hold and manage these developments in the most rational. Hence the drift of accounts that appears when the economy is no longer sufficient to fund progress.
This is, again, clearly a priority that our country should adopt for the coming decades, assuming an economically sustainable way of lengthening life expectancy and advances in health.
But all these priorities for the future will be meaningless if we are not able to respond simultaneously to the two most pressing challenges of the current period.
The first challenge is obviously that of employment. The crisis is cruel. All developed countries are facing a massive increase in unemployment. We, in the case of France, while initially because we prepare for this situation, with the reforms initiated at the beginning of the quinquennium: the merger of the ANPE and Unedic. I know that this merger is difficult, but at the same time, which may challenge it is more effective to deal with job seekers to have a single structure that takes into account all of their problems and their needs: modernization of the labor market, which RSA will operate from 1 July.
And then, with social measures, which are applicable and which involve
10 millions of our countrymen: the premium for active solidarity allowance, € 500 for those who do not have enough seniority to qualify for unemployment insurance, the premium of € 150 for families, the removal of two installments the income tax.
Today, we remain mobilized around three goals. First, do everything to prevent redundancies, in particular through the improvement of compensation for partial unemployment. We have much to learn, point of view of Germany.
In his speech to Congress, the President hoped that social partners to take massive action in terms of partial activity. Naturally, the Government will be with them.
We must also facilitate access and return to employment for those most vulnerable. We currently deploy a range of measures to provide better support to employees victims of restructuring, especially to support youth employment and to modernize our system of training. Finally, we must support the creation of jobs is the subject of exemptions from charges in the TPE, that is the subject of contracts and the plan.
But we also have a decisive battle to be conducted on a second front is that of the control of our public finances. Let me be clear: our structural deficits must be tackled seriously and courageously. Today they reach levels that may compromise the very survival of our economic system if we fail to control them.
The president has noted, there will be no policy of austerity, there will be no increase in charges because the increase in the tax burden in a country that already has the world records in this area would only result of that break when the economic recovery will be there. But at the same time, I tell you, we will fight to reduce government expenditure, because if we do not, then we will continue to increase debt that weighs heavily on the economic competitiveness of our country , not to mention what we pass on to generations that will follow us.
Some expenses - and some deficits related to the crisis or investment - are necessary for future growth. The sacrifice would be completely suicidal. And we must have a policy that leads to reduce public spending and structural same time, to invest heavily in technology sectors in the industries of the future in training, innovation, and research. All structural expenditure must be scrutinized, evaluated and reduced if possible.
For years, our lax budget erodes the capacity for action of public power, momentum state discourages entrepreneurs, and erodes our competitiveness. In fine, there should be no mistake, this is our social pact itself is endangered by this fiscal laxity. It is time to become aware of all this: the era of the facility is completed. The crisis is in some ways the shock that reveals this truth.
The president has invited us to make choices that have too long been ignored. The method we will implement is clear: first, a broad consultation, and decisions, with a central objective, the quality of public spending.
National priorities, which at the moment j'esquissais few tracks will have to identify what I call "good investment", those that enhance our growth potential, those who demonstrate their performance for generations future.
We were given three months to identify them. Then we can specify the details of the announced public borrowing, which will fund these priorities.
I mean it is out of question to put anything in this loan. This will be the commitment of the nation. This is our country that devote his strength and his faith in the future. These are resources that we have no right to squander.
It will also be courageous on the issue of pensions, for which all options will be put on the table next year.
And it will take, ladies and gentlemen local elected officials, be proactive on local government reform. All our citizens expect this reform: they understood that it could not continue in the disorder and the chaos of multiple structures and opaque. The Government is determined to move forward, we must simplify our organization. Because the complexity of the organization, it not only generates direct costs, but it generates indirect costs especially by making life, including businesses and our citizens more complex.
Finally we will extend and amplify the logic of the general revision of public policies. More than ever, we need to reform government, reduce the size, it must improve service to users. We know that better organization, the massive use of modern technology can resolve this apparent contradiction is that on one side to reduce public expenditure and the other to try to make it more effective, with respect to service to our citizens.
This, ladies and gentlemen, what I wanted to say on the occasion of the inauguration, if symbolic, of that company.
Faced with this crisis, but not from the State, which has no magic wand.
This crisis, it challenges us collectively. We have a duty to confront remaining united. We have a duty to resist the inevitable. We must also be willing to fight together to offer our children a better world.
This will, I found it was present among you. Well, remember that your side, it leads also to the Government that I lead. "