Despite Mr Macron’s tough rhetoric ahead of the April elections, Jacques Sapir believes the country has been “economically downgraded”. Mr. Sapir, director of studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) since 1996, said the country was rapidly losing its industry. At the center of this economic decline is the introduction of the euro, Sapir said.
According to the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), France ran up a trade deficit of 9 billion euros (£7.5 billion) last November.
Commenting on the figure, he told RT France: “This very bad figure is neither an accident nor an exception.
“It reflects the rapid erosion of the country’s competitiveness since the introduction of the euro and its corollary, the accelerated deindustrialization that we are experiencing, and which feeds the feeling shared by many French people that our country has been downgraded economically.
“This poor figure comes at a time when the economy is slowly recovering from the health crisis caused by COVID-19.
“One might think, even hope, that it could therefore only be transitory.
“Unfortunately, this is not the case. France’s trade balance has been steadily deteriorating since 2005, as INSEE statistics show.”
In his article, the economist also said that the euro had killed the competitiveness of the French economy.
According to the IMF, which calculates the real exchange rate (REER) of each economy and measures the difference between it and the nominal exchange rate, France is overvalued.
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“Bruno Le Maire can thus forget the poor results of last November and continue to praise Emmanuel Macron’s economic record.”
According to separate figures from the IMF, France’s account balance has declined year-on-year since 2018.
In 2018, this figure was 0.6% but fell to -2.1%.
In contrast, Spain’s and Italy’s own figures now stand at 1% and 3.5%, respectively.
Germany’s figure is 7.6% but never fell below seven between 2018 and 2021.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.