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Protests in France..Do they undermine the country’s image in the eyes of investors?


The US Bloomberg Agency confirmed that French President Emmanuel Macron “may have become a lame duck,” hinting that he may be unable to continue exercising power.

France’s image as a business destination has been damaged by obstruction surrounding a pension reform plan, which has rekindled past fears about an economically unstable country.

“What we hear from our clients and from the various groups of decision-makers in which we participate is that there is no panic, just fear,” said Marc Lermitte, partner in the consulting firm “Ernst & Young”, which publishes an annual European measure of the attractiveness of countries in the field of attracting international investment projects.

Lhermitte told AFP that these concerns are concentrated among the leaders of the companies’ branches in France, “who seek to win deals within their groups and look at the issue very seriously,” mentioning in particular questions in the medium term, especially about the government’s ability to continue its reforms.

However, Lhermitte noted that “from a distance, from New York, Kansas City or London, France’s problems do not come to the fore.”

But even in light of major events on the international arena, led by the war in Ukraine and inflation all over the world, the whole world watched the images of burning waste containers in Paris, and scenes of rioting and cracking in the French capital, which awakened in business circles memories of the “yellow vests” crisis. And the strikes that paralyzed France at the time.

“The lame duck”

Apart from the images that topped the media in the world, the economic press that forms the facade of French attractiveness did not spare the government in its criticism.

And the US Bloomberg Agency confirmed that French President Emmanuel Macron “may have become a lame duck,” hinting that he may be unable to continue exercising power, while the Financial Times called for “the start of a sixth, less authoritarian republic.”

For its part, Moody’s credit rating agency expressed fears that the government’s resort to a controversial mechanism that stipulated the use of Article 49-3 of the constitution to pass reforming the pension system would “complicate” the adoption of any structural reforms in the future, which the government praised. As essential to receive foreign companies such as reforming the tax system and reforming the labor market.

And if the lawyer specializing in international mergers and acquisitions, Natalie Younan, noticed an increase in the interest of foreign investors in France in recent months, until she told Agence France-Presse that “at the beginning of every meeting, the first question that arises is: How is the situation in Paris?”

“For some investors, this is the first time they set foot in France, and therefore they feel more anxious,” and they wonder, “if this is the right time to make their first step” in the country.

Younan said, “As for other investors who have business in France and want to expand, they sometimes look at France with humor or sarcasm,” noting that events in general are not the kind that makes companies hesitate to invest.

France has achieved solid results so far in terms of foreign investment, and Ernst & Young has ranked it for three years at the forefront of business kisses in Europe in terms of the number of projects, to issue its next classification in mid-May.

Foreign Trade Minister Olivier Pechet said in response to questions from AFP: “The demonstrations are not comfortable, but today I do not receive calls from companies asking me what is going on in France. Investors are used to the French sometimes showing this kind of somewhat violent expression in the street, this is among Our history. They don’t judge us on the light of circumstances by a few weeks or a few months. When we invest in a country, the investment is for five years, ten years, twenty years,” he said, explaining that concerns center rather around the price of energy and access to labour.

“The enthusiasm that accompanied Emmanuel Macron’s first term dissipated a long time ago,” said lawyer Nathalie Younan. “. And sometimes fears take a political turn, at a time when the French far-right is making increasing progress over the elections.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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