French economy in chaos as public debt soars to 114% of GDP – could get ‘out of control’

Macron may have to call ‘another snap election’ says insider

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Public debt reached 114.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of the first quarter of 2022 – up from 112.9 percent from the end of December 2021. The figures have been released by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) in France. French President Emmanuel Macron is now coming under huge pressure, with the new president of the Les Républicains in the National Assembly warning “the situation could become worrying” in the coming months.

In a furious warning Olivier Marleix raged he is “very angry at those who put this subject under the table”.

He told French radio station Europe 1: Europe 1: “Today, reality is catching up with us.

“If we are not very serious in the coming weeks, months, the situation could become extremely serious, worrying, out of control in France.

“The situation of the French debt today is very serious, really very serious, perhaps even more than serious.”

This massive increase in public debt comes primarily from the jump in the rising state debt (+£56billion) when that of the social security administration progresses more timidly (+£22.1billion).

Les Républicains President Mr Marleix warned this is a situation that “creates an immense responsibility for everyone”.

He said it is a responsibility “for the President of the Republic to know how to create the conditions for dialogue and listening.

“He has always shown a certain plasticity on the substance, I do not know if on the form, on his ego, he would be capable of this same plasticity.

“I hope so, in any case, for the country, and on our part, obviously, we will be a responsible but demanding opposition.”

But last Friday, the INSEE statistics agency said the French economy is likely to maintain a steady rate of growth through the rest of 2022 but warned inflation will side further to nearly seven percent.

The eurozone’s second-biggest economy shrank 0.2 percent in the first three months of this year, but INSEE has forecast it is set to grow 0.2 percent in the second quarter and 0.3 percent in both of the following two quarters.

For the full year 2022, the economy should post growth of 2.3 percent, triggered mainly by consumer spending with services benefiting from a return to more normal conditions in the transport sector.

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But in a further nightmare for France, inflation is expected to climb during the summer from 5.2 percent in May to as high as seven percent this year – soaring to levels not seen in France in nearly 40 years.

INSEE warned current price pressures may shift from energy – which has driven inflation increases throughout Europe so far – to food and manufactured products as well as services.

It was estimated inflation would be two percentage points higher if the Government hadn’t imposed measures – including a cap on gas and electricity prices and a rebate on fuel prices – to try to control price pressures.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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