Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mélenchon Is Not Thriving

One might have expected Jean-Luc Mélenchon to thrive at a time when his bête noire, the Socialist Party, is floundering in power. But the opposite is the case. He seems to be losing ground. In a year, his approval rating has fallen from 47 to 35%--not as far as Hollande's, to be sure, but still a slide. He has been attacked by some of his Communist allies for following a "personal" rather than a "party" strategy. And the Front de Gauche has done even worse in legislative by-elections than it did in the presidential election: 4,48 % dans l'Hérault, 6,6 % dans l'Oise, 6,93 % dans les Hauts-de-Seine, 8,79 % dans le Val-de-Marne.

Gallic Pessimism Makes France Less Attractive to Global Investors

Or so we are told:
"Si le Royaume-Uni et l'Allemagne sont considérés comme des destinations de rang mondial, les investisseurs étrangers pourraient désormais classer la France parmi les localisations secondaires, aux côtés de l'Italie et de l'Espagne, avec le risque de la voir réduite à un rôle de puissance moyenne", avertit M. Lhermitte. "Cette image d'un pays désynchronisé du tempo global, tenté par le repli sur lui-même, est malheureusement alimentée par le pessimisme français", estime-t-il. La France reste néanmoins numéro un en nombre d'implantations industrielles, mais celles-ci accusent un recul de 25 %, à 127 projets en 2012, et n'ont créé que 3 605 postes, plaçant l'Hexagone à la 13e place.
(From Le Monde's 12:15 newsletter)

INSEE Has Problem With First-Quarter Employment Figures

Three days before first-quarter employment statistics were to be published, INSEE, the French national statistical agency, announced that there were problems with its survey, so that it would not be possible to publish the complete figures.

This cryptic announcement raised suspicions, as often in the past, that the government was up to no good, possibly laundering a report even more depressing than what many already expected. Who knows? Further information may be forthcoming eventually, but for now we know nothing about what happened.