France in 2025: will la vie be en rose?
In 2025, France will have no unemployment, no debt, and tapping the housing market will be a "pleasant" experience - at least according to four of its government ministers.
The finding came after France's president, Francois Hollande, asked his ministers to present their "holiday homework" on Monday, which was an essay entitled "What is your vision of France in 2025?"
(Read more: Why the French may say 'non' to 'Made in France')
Happily for Hollande, thegeneral tone of the homework suggested everything will be just grand in 2025.
According to Arnaud Montebourg, the minister for Industrial Renewal, "France will be recognized, once again, as the leading voice among industrialised nations" by 2025, and will have put industry at the heart of its recovery. He foresaw that manufacturing would total 20 percent of the country's GDP due to a "new alliance between private initiative and public sector support".
Montebourg added that by 2025,France should be a world leader in transport (offering very fast trains and electric cars), aeronautics, agribusiness, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy. France will also have caught up in digital technology, he said,and its CAC 40 benchmark stock exchange will have been completely disrupted,with small- and medium-sized companies growing to become major groups, boosted by state support and a reduction in red tape.
In addition, housing shortages will have all but disappeared in 2025, according to Housing Minister Cecile Duflot, who predicted that "everyone will have a roof over their heads in a quality environment", due to the building of an additional six million houses.In fact, she said "access to housing will no longer be a stress factor," but instead "a pleasant step in people's lives".
Interior Minister Manuel Valls predicted the country will have a "Police 3.0", that will be" efficient, close to citizens and at the cutting edge of technology". He added that the country will have worked on its intelligence and communication technologies, while guaranteeing "the preservation of liberties and the right to a private life".
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Finance minister Pierre Moscovici forecast France will benefit from full employment in 2025 and become a world leader in "social innovation". He did however identifying major concerns, such as an ageing population (a third of French citizens will be 60 years old or older in 2025) and the need to "massively increase job creation".Plus, he forecast France will slip from being the world's fifth largest economy to the eighth- or ninth-largest, due to the "huge growth of the emerging markets".
Despite Moscovici's less bullish outlook, some French politicians still criticized the exercise as foolish and idealistic. Nadine Morano, the former secretary of state for family, called it "rushed" and compared it to a contest between a fairground fortune teller and Nostradamus.Francois Bayrou, President of the MoDem Party, was more diplomatic, but said the exercise was not "very coherent or clear".
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