Recent news from France focuses on the mass social unrest stemming from social and employment reforms. However, the changes to modernize France’s administrations, economy and society should benefit its exchange traded fund (ETF) in the long run.
French President Nicholas Sarkozy was elected on a platform of reform, and despite the opposition to the changes in retirement age, Sarkozy has pushed through a number of improvements, such as the liberalization of Sunday trading hours, creation of a more efficient state unemployment services, changes in labor laws, autonomy to French universities and reduction of heavy professional taxes, writes Bruce Crumley for TIME.
For this year and the next, Sarkozy could take a politically safer route and tackle less-combative initiatives instead of plowing through sweeping changes ahead of his 2012 re-election bid.
According to a recent magazine headline in France, the French are the “champions of the world”; although, they were talking about pessimism, reports Stephen Beard for MarketPlace. Still, the title could be justified if you consider that the unemployment rate sits at around 9% or 10% and the government is undergoing fiscal cuts.
For more information on France, visit our France category.
France will have to get unrest and anger under control if there’s going to be more strength seen in iShares MSCI France Index (NYSEArca: EWQ), which is down 2.5% in the last three months. It’s not as bad as some of the more troubled European countries, but it could be better.
Max Chen contributed to this article.