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France blames government on economic slowdown

Posted April. 25, 2024 07:56,   

Updated April. 25, 2024 07:56


French President Emmanuel Macron has recently taken aggressive action to reform the bureaucratic system and lessen regulation with the idea that bureaucracy, believed to chronically harm France, should be handled earlier than a slowing economy and youth unemployment. A growing number of European countries reflect on their failed track, attributing their lack of momentum to government failures because of bureaucracy while comparing themselves with the United States, which is going from strength to strength. French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire commented that he would make France a more business-friendly place to work by tackling annoying regulatory administration hurdles, targeting the current bureaucratic system where it takes as long as a month to open a bank account. To do so, France decided to provide government workers with internship programs in businesses and adopt a pre-report system in the event that government approval is required before permission is granted.

A recent study issued by the French Parliament demonstrates that social costs arising from bureaucracy amount to three percent of the country’s GDP. Over his first term, President Macron worked to reform the labor market by lowering firing conditions. Last year, he made successful reforms to the pension system by increasing the age at which pension pays are made by two years. The next aim is to remove bureaucratic obstacles. By contrast, the Yoon administration has not even taken the first steps to reform the labor, pension, and education systems. Instead, it is faced with criticism that government officials have greater influence over the private sector centering around finance and price controls. Bureaucrats tend to stick to complicated work practices and organizational authority by nature to maintain their stable positions. This explains why bureaucracy ends up with a bunch of regulations and limits placed on the economic activities of businesses and individuals alike. Since two years ago when the transfer of power took place and the Board of Audit and Inspection initiated an intensive inspection of government officials who performed policy affairs in the previous administration, sitting on issues has only become an obvious practice among government workers.

Around the time the current administration took office, it pledged to protect and give preferential treatment to government officials who are committed to taking action although making mistakes on the job rather than to those sitting on their hands. It made sure that those responsible and faithful to their principles were protected and rewarded accordingly. However, few words have since been kept. In contrast, Japan is going in the opposite direction. Typically considered a more bureaucratic country than South Korea, it revamped the bureaucratic system so considerably that it took just two years to build chip facilities, originally considered a five-year project. Meanwhile, a growing number of startup businesses launched by young South Korean founders relocate their headquarters to the United States or get Japanese government grants to seek business opportunities in Japan to avoid regulatory stumbling blocks exclusive to their home country. As such, a fundamental reform to the bureaucratic community should take place before the country saves its growth potential from a free fall.