French economy minister urges own government to speed up reforms


French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron denied on Wednesday he had threatened to resign over the speed of reforms in France, but urged his own government to go further than a job plan unveiled earlier this week.

French media had reported talk that the popular former investment banker, who advocates more deregulation of broad sectors of the French economy, had not ruled out resigning if reforms did not go ahead.

“When I have something to say, I do it myself,” Macron told BFM TV. “I don’t talk via others, I don’t let others say things, and I don’t have the indecency of threatening to resign,” he said.

In a sign of support for Macron, Hollande mentioned the minister several times in his speech this week and said a job plan centred on training schemes for the jobless would go hand-in-hand with Macron’s push to tear down legal barriers to practicing many professions.

The 38-year old minister said the plan complemented the pro-business reforms carried out for the last several years to improve French competitiveness, but urged the government to do more.

“I think we must go even further,” he said. “These are very important measures, the president has opened a path, we must rush into it, give a push, it’s also my role in government.”

However, he said a raft of measures to open up many professions, such as hairdresser and baker, that he had hoped to present in a bill dubbed by the media “Macron 2”, will instead be incorporated into other bills sponsored by other ministers.


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