Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Ed Miliband political and economic genius

On 24 July 2012 the BBC reported approvingly:
'Labour leader Ed Miliband has declared the political "tide is turning" against the economics of austerity, after a meeting in Paris with French President Francois Hollande.

He said he and Mr Hollande agreed that Europe needed a "different way forward" to deal with the debt crisis.


Mr Miliband held a half-hour meeting with the French president, a fellow centre-left leader, at the Elysee Palace, saying afterwards: "The points of agreement we have were around the fact that the tide is turning against an austerity approach, that there needs to be a different way forward found.

"What President Hollande is seeking to do in France and what he is seeking to do in leading the debate in Europe is find that different way forward.

"We are in agreement in seeking that new way that needs to be found and I think can be found."'
Today the BBC report somewhat less cheerfully that:
'Official figures show France has entered its second recession in four years after the economy shrank by 0.2% in the first quarter of the year.

Its economy shrank by the same amount in the last quarter of 2012. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

France has record unemployment and low business and consumer confidence.


France entered its worst recession since World War II in 2009. Although it was thought to have been in recession in 2012, these figures have now been revised to show only one quarter of negative growth.

The news comes on the first anniversary of Francois Hollande being sworn in as president.

Earlier this month, the European Commission warned that France would enter recession this year and said the eurozone's economy would shrink by 0.4%.


In France, the rate of unemployment is running at 10.6% and is forecast to rise further next year.

Its deficit is also expected to rise sharply, the commission says, to 3.9% of GDP - well above the EU deficit target of 3%.

But French unemployment is below the eurozone average, which was 11.4% in 2012 and is expected to hit an average of 12.2% this year. In both Greece and Spain, it is expected to peak at 27%.

The German growth figure was far weaker than expected. Economists had expected to see growth of 0.3%'

So in 2012 Ed Miliband supported Mr Hollande's policies as a way out of the economic crisis and as being better than George Osborne's so called austerity plan. How about now that France has gone back into recession whilst the UK has not? Perhaps the BBC could ask Ed Miliband or the unusually shy Ed Balls that question, perhaps not!

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