France steadies NASCAR during credibility crisis
“The fact that Bulgaria and Romania are not members of Schengen in no way impedes their citizens from movement within the EU in the name of fundamental freedoms,” he said. The two countries can only join the visa-free Schengen zone if all member states agree but several countries, including France, oppose their entry. Under right of residence rules, all EU citizens can move in another country for three months, after which they must prove they are not an “unreasonable burden on the social assistance system” of a member state. Starting next January 1, all restrictions imposed by France and seven other countries on Romanian and Bulgarian workers are due to be lifted. Despite the uproar caused by his comments, Mr Valls said he would take none of them back. “To quote Michel Rocard (a former Socialist prime minister), ‘France’s role is not to welcome all the world’s misery’,” he said. But with criminality linked to Roma on the rise, up 524 per cent in Paris between 2008 to 2011, other Left-wingers backed his comments. Anne Hidalgo, Paris’ Socialist mayoral candidate, warned this week that the capital “cannot become a giant Roma camp” while the current mayor Bertrand Delanoe defended the dismantling of 18 camps around the capital this year saying: “I will not accept disorder on the public streets.” The Right-wing opposition wants to block lifting all worker restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians in the EU – slated for January next year until the Roma problem is resolved. Right-wing UMP leader Jean Francois Cope accused President Francois Hollande of remaining deliberately “vague” over whether the two countries should be kept out of the Schengen space of free movement for now. In a report released today, Amnesty International accused the Socialists of bringing forced evictions of Roma to “record proportions”. “When President Francois Hollande came to power last year, he promised a change in tone and policy regarding Roma but there has been little change on the ground,” it said in a statement. “The new government have produced guidance on steps to be taken prior to and during evictions.
) France is the 28-country European Union’s second-largest economy, after Germany, but it is struggling: unemployment is stuck at around 11 percent and its government deficit is at around 4 percent of gross domestic product higher than the EU’s ceiling of 3 percent. Responding to the 2014 budget, analysts warned it could damage consumer confidence and threaten the economy’s chances of recovery. While it was a “very good thing” that the government was trying to redress the balance between spending and taxation, one economist noted, the consumer will pay the price for spending cuts: “The government is probably aware that we’ve reached a threshold in terms of tax levels and now spending should be the focus.” Maxime Alimi, euro area economist at AXA Investment Managers, told CNBC on Wednesday. “The government is aware that companies have also reached a threshold and they want to show that they’re pragmatists and aware of all the sectors in the economy so I think cutting taxes for companies will help profitability first and potentially, business investment,” he added. The latest budget by France’s socialist government, led by President Francois Hollande, anticipates no additional taxes for businesses, reversing earlier proposals for heavier business and high earner taxes that were unsurprisingly greeted with anger by the business world. The figures bear testament to a loss of confidence too. On Wednesday France’s statistics body, INSEE, reported that French business sentiment dropped in September from August, underperforming expectations. According to a monthly poll released this week, less than a quarter of voters are satisfied with his leadership. Speaking to CNBC from Paris, Alimi said higher consumption taxes would “definitely” hurt consumer spending and the economy would likely remain in a period of stagnation as a result. “We don’t really think there will be a sustainable return in France this year and next. The main driver of growth in France is usually the consumer and no we think there are a number of headwinds for consumers- the VAT(sales tax) hike is one but also there is very high unemployment and low wage growth.” Philippe Waechter, head of Economic Research at Natixis Asset Management, agreed that households would come under increased fiscal pressure from the sales tax hikes.
I work with him. Sometimes he listens. He doesn’t listen all the time. We debate issues sometimes. I’m proud to say sometimes I win. I’d like to win all the time,” said Bruton Smith, owner of Speedway Motorsports Inc. and the late Bill France Jr.’s biggest adversary. “But I don’t. We’ll continue to go down the road with him.” In this case, Waltrip said MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman had a dialogue with France, but it didn’t make a difference. “They were pretty well set on their decision, and we elected to accept the penalties and try to move forward,” Waltrip said. It’s impossible for France to not have similarities to his father, who had zero tolerance for anyone who messed with his show.