Sarkozy defends reforms against financial storm

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is to make the case for continuing economic reforms on Thursday despite the global financial crisis and flagging growth that is sharply reducing his room to manoeuvre, reported

Back from his foray on the world stage at the United Nations in New York, Sarkozy travels to the southern city of Toulon, speaking directly to the people in a major address on the economy.

The president is to outline how France intends to confront the worst crisis in financial markets since the 1929 Wall Street crash that ushered in the Great Depression.

Sarkozy will show "there is a captain at the wheel" and "give some perspective on the government's economic policy", an aide said of the speech to be delivered at 6:30 pm (1630 GMT) before 4,000 people.

A recent poll showed 62 percent of the French disapprove of Sarkozy's handling of the eurozone's second biggest economy although his overall approval rating has edged up in the past weeks.

On Tuesday, he called for an international summit on the financial meltdown to discuss creating a new system of "regulated capitalism", during an address to the UN General Assembly.

In his first comments since the collapse of US investment giant Lehman Brothers 10 days ago, Sarkozy appealed for "a regulated capitalism in which whole swathes of financial activity are not left to the sole judgment of market operators."

There was speculation that the president could announce some measure to curb the "golden parachute" severance payments to chief executives after France's top business lobby, the Medef, said it would recommend such a step.

The Toulon speech comes on the eve of the release of the 2009 budget to the cabinet, capping weeks of tense juggling to set priorities in the government's reform programme.

Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has forecast growth for next year at "around one percent", lower than the 1.25-2.25 percent figure predicted earlier this year.

Sluggish growth translates into a loss of revenue for the French state, which is already five billion euros (7.4 billion dollars) in the hole from the economic slowdown in 2008, according to finance officials.

Sarkozy won election in May 2007 on a pledge to "inject fuel" into the economy with tax cuts and measures to free up growth, that he has repeatedly lamented is lagging behind France's eurozone partners.

Budget Minister Eric Woerth has warned that 2009 will be a "difficult year" but that the government would not backtrack from its commitment to reduce public spending.

France has pledged to balance its books by 2012, missing a European Union target of 2010 for governments to rein in spending and reach a balanced budget.

Economists question whether this can be achieved in the current difficult context, with French households hard hit by inflation and increasingly worried about their living standards.

Purchasing power has replaced unemployment in public opinion polls as the nation's number one concern.

The public deficit is expected to reach 2.7 percent of GDP this year, slightly higher than the 2.5 percent forecast. The government had set its sights on a deficit capped at 2.0 percent for 2009.

Uzbekistan increases raisins export to Netherlands
Uzbekistan increases raisins export to Netherlands
Uzbekistan, Hungary consider establishing Uzbek-Hungarian Business Council
Uzbekistan, Hungary consider establishing Uzbek-Hungarian Business Council
Uzbekistan confirms repayment schedules on ADB loan for solid waste cleaning
Uzbekistan confirms repayment schedules on ADB loan for solid waste cleaning
Loading Bars
Turkey registers nearly 30,000 new coronavirus cases as recoveries surpass 390,000
Kazakhstan has high hopes for homegrown COVID-19 vaccine - Minister
Georgia expect stabilization of pandemic with the expansion of restrictions
Iraq reports 2,545 new COVID-19 cases, 547,215 in total
Resolution adopted by French Senate is gross violation of int'l law - Honorary Member of French Parliament
Erdoğan urges public caution against COVID-19 in Turkey amid violations
76 Iranian professors among world top 2% scientists
Monetary policy in Georgia remains tightest among CIS - Renaissance Capital
Representatives of Kyrgyzstan take part in XVIII meeting of CSTO ICMEC
Britain records 16,022 new coronavirus cases, 521 new deaths
Azerbaijani gymnasts reach finals of 36th European Championship in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Ukraine
Turkish political parties condemn French Senate’s resolution on Karabakh
World Maritime University, Georgia aim to develop maritime education, capacity-building activities
Georgia makes giant strides in transposition of energy efficiency acquis
Cash receipts from Azerbaijan to Georgia increases
Number of debit cards in Azerbaijan increases
Uzbekistan increases raisins export to Netherlands
Georgia to subsidize wheat flour price
IAEA to implement multiple projects in Georgia
Uzbekistan, Hungary consider establishing Uzbek-Hungarian Business Council
Uzbekistan confirms repayment schedules on ADB loan for solid waste cleaning
Percentage of problem loans in Azerbaijan down
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for vehicles provision
Tree-planting campaign continues in Azerbaijan's Gubadli (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan raises commercial gas production
COVID-related quarantine may be strengthened in Kazakhstan in December
German Bundestag welcoming cessation of hostilities in Karabakh for sustainable peace
Spain names main Turkmen sectors of its interest
Iran to follow FATF-related bills
French Development Agency puts emphasis on increasing solar and wind capacity integration in Georgia
Putin to hold annual press conference via video link on December 17
Share of Austria in total import of Azerbaijan increases
Kazakhstan, Canada discuss prospects for agriculture co-op
Iranian Aras Free Trade Zone reveals its trade surplus
Modernization of primary gas treatment unit carried out at Uzbek oil field
Ambassador of Mexico meets with Azerbaijani Acting Minister of Culture
Azerbaijan supplying drinking water to liberated Shusha city (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan consistently works to strengthen regional cooperation - MFA
Azerbaijan's import of chemical products from Turkey up
Conflicts, external aggression threaten peace, security - Azerbaijani FM (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani Minister of Economy receives Qatari ambassador (PHOTO)
Iran's industrial cities work at minimum capacity
U.S. agency opens probe into 115,000 Tesla vehicles over suspension issue
Turkey discloses Istanbul Airport's ten-month passenger traffic volume
Japan ruling party proposal backs assistance for COVID-hit airlines
Iran's Social Security Organization to forgive insurance fines of employers
Elbit Systems wins Spanish Army radio deal
Putin meets RSC members to discuss Russian peacekeepers' activities in Karabakh
Uzbek metallurgical plant switches to int’l financial reporting standards
New company established in Azerbaijan's Sumgayit city
Iran to close public offices amid COVID-19
Volume of industrial lending in Azerbaijan grows
Azerbaijani 'Maestro Niyazi' dry-cargo ship repaired and tested
France-24 TV channel broadcasts reportage about liberated Fuzuli district of Azerbaijan (VIDEO)
Small state enterprises, vehicles to be auctioned in Azerbaijan
Uzbek Ministry of Finance eyes setting excise tax on sugar imports
New electronic services to be introduced in Turkmenistan's banking system
Oil bitumen imports decrease to Georgia
10M2020 cargo, passenger traffic in Turkish Esenboga Airport drops
Discovery of Turkmen scientists expected to make unique contribution to healthcare system on global scale
Azerbaijan detects 3,712 new COVID-19 cases, 1,359 recoveries
World to need at least 1.1 trillion barrels of hydrocarbons over next 20 years
Kazakhstan decreases crude petroleum oil supplies to Netherlands
Number of construction enterprises, organizations in Uzbekistan up
Central Bank of Azerbaijan reveals data on population's deposits
Georgia sees decrease in import of aviation fuel
Oil & gas industry is not at risk of being starved of capital
Nearly half of bank deposits in Azerbaijan made in foreign currency, says CBA
Turkmen Health Ministry opens tender for medical supplies purchase
Iran Parliament speaker obliges gov't to implement “People's Livelihood Protection Act” as soon as possible
Luxury hotels to be created in Nagorno-Karabakh region
Azerenerji OJSC implementing essential project in Karabakh, adjacent districts
Gold, silver prices in Azerbaijan down
Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom sees threefold increase in profits
Turkey's VP talks current defense-related projects
Iran to join several countries in coronavirus vaccine development
Cybersecurity - one of main objectives of Georgia - Energy Community Secretariat report
UNDP office in Uzbekistan to buy agricultural equipment via tender
Central Bank of Azerbaijan plans to raise funds at deposit auction
Azerbaijan's Central Bank reveals year-on-year data on lending to household sector
Facebook cryptocurrency Libra to launch as early as January but scaled back
“Investment Treaty” intensively negotiated between Georgia and Japan
ACG oil transshipment from Ceyhan terminal exceeds 190 million barrels
Turkmenistan prepares project for intellectual property system dev’t
Prime Minister Modi inaugurates RE-Invest 2020
TAP is operational and can deliver gas, says managing director
Uzbek Anti-Crisis Fund expenses up due to extended COVID-9 resistance
Ruling coalition in Germany stands for Berlin’s participation in promoting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijani gymnasts in group exercises reach final of European Championship in Ukraine
Azerbaijan's labor ministry, Azermash Group LLC sign tender contract
Iran reduces imports of chemicals from Turkey
Plastic cards becoming more popular in Kazakhstan
Turkish Ombudsman Institution prepares special report on Armenia's war crimes against Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Turkmenistan prepares project aimed at developing energy diplomacy
Uzbekistan’s 10M2020 production of chemical products revealed
Azerbaijan Insurers Association calls on citizens to annually renew insurance contracts
Russian Tatneft eyeing butadiene production in co-op with Kazakhstan
ICAO to include Azerbaijan's three airfields in new list of int'l geographical coordinates
Georgia becomes most popular exporter of Uzbek beans
Construction of new water reservoirs in Uzbekistan to improve water supply of land areas
All news