For all those who might have an interest in the future of France, I invite you to join me here, on October 2: Its fate, on that day, will be sealed, for a long time. By this date, in fact, our country at last will have to make the choices that it has stubbornly refused to make over the last 20 years, in spite of all the advice, the books and the talk.
Let us recap the important dates this month:
– This Wednesday, September 10, the government has to make its decision known about the path chosen for 2015. This choice is critical, as it decides the fate of the country until 2016, presidential election year in principle, during which everyone will rush to do nothing. The choices that needed to be decided before that Wednesday were extraordinarily high. Should we admit to the French people that government deficits are not under control and that France will soon join the sad club of countries whose public debt exceeds its GDP? Should we resign ourselves to deficits permanently above 4% of GDP, unlike the deficits of all other European countries? Or, on the contrary, should huge reform efforts and cruel savings be finally made to control these ill-effects? Should taxes be increased further? And which ones? Should we resign ourselves to a suicidal deflation? Should the forces of economic growth be unleashed and instead unleash the coalition of all conservatism? I have an answer to these questions. I do not know, in these instants in which I write, the one that will be given by the government. The further timetable is not an incentive to audacity…
– Friday, September 12, the budget structure must be communicated to the French Senate and the other European countries, whose finance ministers will convene in Milan for that to happen.
– Tuesday, September 16, the Prime Minister must ask for a vote of confidence from the Parliament, all the more difficult to obtain if he makes the tough choices, to which nobody has prepared the country.
– Thursday, September 18, the President of the Republic will give the fourth bi-annual press conference of his mandate.
– Wednesday, September 24, or a few days later due to a visit by the French President at the United Nations, the detailed budget will be presented in the Council of Ministers and, Thursday, October 2, tabled in Parliament.
– On Sunday, September 28 election for the French Senate will be held.
All, then, will be over.
If this Wednesday, the government chooses the courageous solution, which is to purge all prior deviations in order to gain more leeway, it will have to announce savings of over 25 billion in 2015, and an increase of at least two percentage points in value added tax, or as many small tax contributions infinitely more painful; it might then fear of not having the approval of the Parliament six days later.
If this is not done, France will be, with Italy, the only European country refusing to reform. The only country on the road to bankruptcy and the ruin of its people. The only country called, rightly, by its European partners, « cigale prétentieuse, » foolish coward, gravedigger of the European Union. The latter could (should even, under the Treaties) put our country under guardianship and send its representatives to set the budget for us, as was the case in Greece and Portugal. Exactly as one treats a person incapable of managing his own finances.
Here is the choice. Here are the key issues. Instead of dealing with nauseous anecdotes, politicians, Left and Right, should debate publicly only this question: What to do until next October 2d?
That day I will say what I think about what the political power will have decided for the future of our country: Will it have the fortitude to act or be laboured under the illusion that it still has time? Will it believe that everyone can stand alone? Or will it continue to maintain a juxtaposition of pressure groups begging each for a greater and greater slice of a cake that is getting increasingly smaller?
It is ultimately its decision. You be the judge. See you on 2 October.