French government in reverse
W&D again dips his lid to the French government. It never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And the latest opportunity was to undertake some modest labour market reform, essentially putting all of France's strictly codified labour rules up for negotiation.
But in the face of thousands of unionists and students demonstrating, the government backed down.
Astute readers will recall W&D's thought last year that German Chancellor Merkel's toughness on Greece ('ship-up or [insert your verb here]') had nothing to do with Greece, but in fact was all about sending a message to the French.
The French economy is a shambles. And has been for many years. But the government, any government, is a shiver looking for a spine.
It's not so much the unemployment rate (greater than 10%); economic growth (barely above zero); the bloated bureaucracy (2nd worst in Europe); the 75% top tax rate; or even the level of government debt (fast approaching 100% of GDP).
It's the attitude that just because they are a gifted nation (beautiful country; outstanding food and wine; ideally geographically located; etc) that their country is somehow immune from the inevitable laws of economics. It isn't.
If Merkel thought she had a problem with Greece, wait for the French begging bowl to go out.