• Germany's news in English

CDU MP calls France Europe's 'problem child'

The Local · 23 Feb 2013, 08:46

Published: 23 Feb 2013 08:46 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

"The French must save to become more capable of acting. They must of course also make economic reforms," Michael Fuchs, deputy chairman of the Christian Democrats' parliamentary group told public radio.

"They must change the working hours. You know that the French still have the 35-hour week. That can't work when in Switzerland people work 42 hours, in Germany 40 hours," he complained on Deutschlandfunk radio.

He was speaking before the European Commission announced that France's public deficit was set to be worse than expected in 2013 and 2014, veering up to 3.7 percent of output this year and 3.9 percent next year.

The EU sets a ceiling of 3.0 percent of output.

France's wages and work ethic have been under the international spotlight this week after the head of US tyremaker Titan, Maurice Taylor, mocked French workers for putting in only "three hours" a day, prompting a sharp retort from Paris.

Fuchs also criticised France on its pensions policy. "It's simply necessary for people to work longer. You cannot retire at 60, that doesn't work any more. The French must consider that," he added.

"Unfortunately France is a problem child in the euro, since other countries have done their homework substantially more intensively. Spain, also Italy under (outgoing Premier Mario) Monti...," he said.

"The whole eurozone must be internationally competitive. And there, the French are far behind."

Story continues below…

Asked to comment on France's public deficit, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said it was not for the German government to assess but that states must do their homework to win back confidence in Europe.

"The chancellor has always made clear that in her opinion the crisis is not over. We have achieved much... There is still much to achieve," Seibert told a regular government news conference.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

12:54 February 23, 2013 by lenny van
If the French increase the work week to 40 or 42 hours, then there will be 15 to 20% more unemployed people who will qualify to receive benefits. The rest of Europe should share the work that the robots and computers have left us. Work sharing and investing the savings on the reduced unemployments and welfare benefits is the answer to the unemployment problem in Europe,
13:34 February 23, 2013 by Englishted
"More Europe doesn't mean in Germany, a German Europe. More Europe for us means, a European Germany," Gauck said

Somebody is bullshining which one is it?
17:40 February 23, 2013 by melbournite
this is completely beside the point. The economic crisis was caused by bankers greed and gvt complicity, not by official working hours. Greeks work far longer than Germans and look what the crisis is doing to them
20:13 February 23, 2013 by chicagolive
For me everybody works for longer than Germans. If it is not machine work, working is not a care for people here people just sit around and pretend to work.
05:30 February 24, 2013 by knowthyenemy
France is facing a DYSGENICS crisis: Many low IQ, 3rd world immigrants have poured into France and have created huge crime waves and racial tension.

Low IQ = less productivity and high crime rates. You can't maintain a 1st world nation with 3rd world immigration.
08:23 February 24, 2013 by Bigfoot76
It is also Extremely unhelpful that the US continually tries to convince people that Europe is in much worse shape than we actually are. It is a hard pill for them to swallow that we could stand a crisis better than the US. Are there problems here? Yes, but not to the degree the US wants everyone to believe.
Today's headlines
Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

Eurowings cabin crew union to strike all day Thursday
Photo: DPA.

UPDATE: A union representing cabin crews on Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings has announced that strikes will last all day Thursday as ongoing contract negotiations continue to falter.

Hesse hopes to set example by building Iraqi orphanages
Refugee children in northern Iraq. Photo: DPA

The wealthy central German state of Hesse has set aside €1 million to build a school, family homes and an orphanage in northern Iraq, in an effort to help refugees there.

The Local List
10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
David Hasselhoff. Photo: DPA

Whether it be efficiency, humourlessness or a love of a certain Baywatch star, there are many cliches stuck in the heads of foreigners about Germany. But how true are they?

Fake Germanwings victim relative convicted in Cologne
A torn piece of metal at the crash site in 2015. Photo: DPA

A German court on Wednesday gave a woman a year's suspended jail sentence for posing as the cousin of a victim in last year's Germanwings plane crash and obtaining compensation offered by the airline.

Couple accused of torturing, murdering women go on trial
The so-called 'house of horrors' in Höxter where the couple allegedly tortured and killed women. Photo: DPA.

A couple accused of luring women to their village home with personal ads started trial on Wednesday over charges that they tortured and killed at least two of their victims.

After July attacks, govt drafts new video surveillance law
Photo: DPA

The Interior Ministry is drafting a law which will enable public spaces to be filmed for surveillance purposes as a reaction to deadly attacks in July, according to a newspaper report.

Merkel: murky internet giants distort perception of reality
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA.

Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for internet giants to make public their closely-guarded algorithms, claiming that they are not giving people diverse enough information.

Pegida leader 'paid court costs with group's money'
Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann. Photo: DPA.

The leader of the anti-Islam movement reportedly used money from Pegida's coffers to pay for two personal court cases, German media reported this week.

Anger as Berlin scraps Turkey concert on Armenia genocide
The Dresden Symphony Orchestra. Photo: DPA

Germany's foreign ministry Tuesday scrapped a planned symphony performance on the Armenian "genocide" in its Istanbul consulate, sparking accusations that it was caving in to Turkish pressure.

10 ways German completely messes up your English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd