Virginie Maisonneuve's Global Insight - October 2012
In the first of a new monthly series Virginie Maisonneuve shares her views on the French budget and the continued uncertainties in Greece and Spain.
“While progress is being made on the structural issue of debt mutualisation across Europe, more action is needed to boost growth and improve competitiveness."
“For example, the proposed French budget is not, in our view, as effective a budget as possible, despite aiming to achieve the 3% deficit target by 2013 as agreed with the EU. “By aiming to fill two thirds of the €30 billion gap through tax increases, President Hollande is somewhat reneging on his election proposal to focus on growth instead of austerity."
“The plan in particular targets the large business sector – nearly a third of additional fiscal tightening for 2013 is intended to come from the corporate sector. This will not help companies regain confidence and create badly needed jobs."
“What’s more, the overall budget will hurt a broad spectrum of the population, increasing the risk of potentially crippling strike action."
Greece and Spain
“Achieving fundamental reform across the continent will not be easy. Strikes in Greece and social unrest in Spain are grave reminders of the difficulties facing politicians trying to implement austerity measures. A key question is how much austerity populations will take before governments – and their reform programmes – are cast aside."
“While lower bond yields in peripheral Europe will help regain confidence and competitiveness, structural pro-growth reform must be put in place in order to avoid “snap” reactions - both from Angela Merkel’s supporting party and from crowds of discontented voters in peripheral countries under intense social pressure.”
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Important Information: The views and opinions contained herein are those of Virginie Maisonneuve, Head of Global and International Equities and may not necessarily represent views expressed or reflected in other Schroders communications, strategies or funds.
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