Vive L'Angleterre! Entrepreneurship May Be a French Word but It Is the British Who Put It into Practice, Says Top French Car Boss

Daily Mail (London), June 19, 2014 | Go to article overview

Vive L'Angleterre! Entrepreneurship May Be a French Word but It Is the British Who Put It into Practice, Says Top French Car Boss


Byline: Ray Massey Transport Editor

ONE of France's top bosses has praised Britain's business-friendly policies - and claimed his homeland has lost its 'culture of entrepreneurship'.

Maxime Picat, the chief executive of Peugeot, praised the recovery in this country and said there were 'great opportunities' in the UK for business.

'Entrepreneurship is a French word,' he said. 'But it is the British who put it into practice. Vive L'Angleterre.' Mr Picat, one of France's most influential industrialists, also criticised his country's inflexible labour market and the number of strikes there.

Mr Picat was speaking just before the international launch of Peugeot's latest model in London. Asked why he thought the British economy was performing better than the French, Mr Picat told the Mail: 'There is a culture of entrepreneurship in Britainwe've lost that.

'Then there are great opportunities. It's easy to find a job. You have a flexible labour market. We don't. There are strikes in France.' He said the UK was better at 'managing unemployment' and had more 'flexible labour policies' which allowed the economy to thrive. 'When the market is recovering, the UK is able to recover faster,' he said. 'Economic growth in the UK is proof of that. The UK grabs opportunities faster.' While the UK economy has gone from strength to strength in recent months, France's has all but ground to a halt under Socialist President Francois Hollande, who now has the lowest approval rating of any French president on record.

The IMF has predicted French growth would be only 1 per cent this year and 1.5 per cent in 2015. It expects growth of 2.9 per cent and 2.5 per cent in Britain.

French public spending is among the highest in the world and is due to hit 57 per cent of national output this year. Its six million state employees make up a fifth of the workforce, while their salaries account for a quarter of public spending.

The IMF has told the government to start cutting the bloated public sector, saying France's tax rises had 'weighed on the capacity of the economy to grow'.

The high tax rate of 75 per cent for top earners in France has led to many of them coming to the UK. …

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