Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bayrou und die Mitbestimmung

François Bayrou has echoed my criticism of Sarkozy's "Germanizing" labor-market reform proposals. The president thinks that France should be more like Germany but ignores the differences between the German and French systems. Bayrou, on the other hand, recognizes that German have wage restraint would be impossible without the involvement of labor in the intimate details of firm management:
M. Bayrou veut mettre l'accent, à l'heure où l'Allemagne est un modèle, sur la"culture de cogestion" dans les entreprises. En proposant, par exemple, la participation des salariés au conseil d'administration des entreprises de plus de 500 salariés.
But Bayrou glosses over other differences. Once the unions have inspected the books, they have to be persuaded that wage restraint can actually increase the firm's market share, enhance investment and productivity, and ultimately improve the position of workers. This is not true in every type of industry and may be a strategy better-suited to Germany's product and sectoral mix than to France's. Germany's relative success in recent years is not necessarily reproducible simply by adopting German methods. But Bayrou is a little closer to reality than Sarkozy.

Meanwhile, in other presidential news, J.-P. Chevènement has dropped out of the race, as expected. And Eva Joly is sinking fast.

The Times Blasts Germany

The New York Times:

Poor German leadership in this crisis has exacted an increasing economic and social price from Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Belgium and France. The longer Germany insists on putting fiscal austerity ahead of growth, the more likely it becomes that Germany, too, will suffer economic pain.
But there is a dig for Sarkozy as well:
The world has gotten used to failed European summit meetings. What is particularly disheartening about this one is that some European leaders seem to believe they succeeded. 
And no one has been more assiduous at painting failure as success than Nicolas Sarkozy.

Martin Wolf is equally censorious in the FT.