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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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The struggle to get France working again

Category : World News

Hollande’s struggle to get France working again

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French ministers to reveal wealth

Category : Business, World News

French government ministers are due to reveal details of their personal wealth as part of efforts by President Hollande to regain public trust.

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France’s Hollande fights tax scandal

Category : World News

A financial scandal threatens France’s President Hollande, after it emerged that his former party treasurer invested in the Cayman Islands tax haven.

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France to break deficit pledge

Category : World News

President Francois Hollande admits France’s 2013 budget deficit will be higher than the 3% level he promised during last year’s election.

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Hollande vows to revive supertax

Category : Business

France’s President Francois Hollande says he still plans to raise the top rate of income tax after his 75% plan was struck down on technical grounds.

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French 75% tax rate struck down

Category : Business

France’s Constitutional Council overturns a new top income tax rate of 75%, a key policy pledge of new Socialist President Francois Hollande.

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President Hollande tells France decline is not our destiny

Category : Business

French leader asks weary voters to judge him at the end of his presidency, as his approval ratings plunge to record low

The French president has vowed to trim public spending and simplify France’s huge public sector during a speech in which he told a pessimistic nation “decline is not our destiny”.

François Hollande, who was elected six months ago after opposing Europe’s one-size-fits-all austerity, admitted cuts were needed in the public sector, which comprises more than half of the French economy. Amid rare criticism from the left on public spending, which is among the highest in the continent, he said France “should be capable of doing better, in spending less”.

At his first official press conference at the Élysée, a set-piece of every French presidency, he urged the nation to stand together during the economic crisis.

The stakes were particularly high for Hollande, whose approval ratings have plummeted recently to make him France’s least liked president in the half year after an election.

Hollande’s unpopularity has been triggered by growing public confusion over his political vision amid charges in the press that he was planning a U-turn on his election promises by raising VAT sales tax in order to loosen the tax burden on businesses, something which would hit consumers while sparing the wealthy.

The president’s approval ratings, which are hovering around 40%, are also the result of France’s growing unemployment and the tax rises introduced by Socialists to help lower the deficit.

Turning around the country’s stalled economy and closing a competitiveness gap with Germany, which is running a huge trade surplus as France sinks deeper into deficit, has become his biggest challenge. The president said he did not fear opinion ratings, or the media using him as a “punching ball”, saying it would take time to reform France.

He added that he wanted to be judged on the results at the end of his term: “The only question that matters is not the state of opinion today, it’s the state of France in five years,” he said. “The recovery will take time but I believe we can succeed. I want young people to be living better in five years’ time.”

Hollande denied charges of a policy reversal and defended his decision to raise VAT, despite having lampooned the previous president, Nicolas Sarkozy, for a similar increase, which the Socialists had overturned.

While voters fear modest households will be pummelled by the forthcoming tax rises, Hollande said VAT would be raised by only 0.4% – and not until 2014. He added that basic items would be spared the increase in an effort to cushion the poorest households.

French government offers €20bn tax boost for businesses

Category : Business

PM says proposed package of tax credits and other measures is intended to give French companies ‘room to manoeuvre’

France’s president, François Hollande, sought to shrug off his business-bashing reputation on Tuesday with a €20bn-a-year (£16bn) package of tax credits and other pro-industry measures.

The prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, surprised many by announcing that the government would accept much of the recommendations of a report by Louis Gallois, the former EADS boss, on making the French economy more competitive.

“France is not condemned to the spiral of decline. But we need a jolt at a national level to regain control of our destiny,” Ayrault said. “This is about giving our companies room to manoeuvre.”

Firms will be offered tax credits worth up to €10bn next year, rising to €20bn by 2015, to be financed by an increase in VAT and €10bn in public spending cuts, as yet unspecified. That was less than the €30bn-a-year cut in payroll taxes that Gallois demanded, but far more than many analysts expected. The rebates will be proportionate to the size of a company’s payroll, up to a maximum of two-and-a-half times the minimum wage, in an attempt to support jobs.

Amid rising concern about France’s global competitiveness, Hollande is keen to show that despite implementing a 75% top rate of income tax on the super-rich, he is on the side of business. Fabrice Montagne, of Barclays, said the announcement would “improve sentiment vis-a-vis the government’s economic policy, which will be welcomed by the president as approval rates are at significantly low levels”.

The International Monetary Fund said in its annual report on the French economy, published on Monday, that without radical reform France could slip behind Spain and Italy, which have been hobbled by lack of competitiveness against the mighty German economy.

The government’s proposals, which will have to be passed by parliament before it can be implemented, also include support for training and small business, and investment in innovation.

France urged to cut labour costs

Category : Business

France’s President Francois Hollande is under pressure to reform the economy after both the IMF and a government-commissioned report urged him to cut labour costs.

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French brewers hit by 160% rise in beer tax

Category : Business

President Hollande to push through legislation to fund social programmes – but brewers condemn plan as ‘kick in teeth’

The French president, François Hollande, is pushing through legislation to increase taxes on beer by 160% to help fund social programmes, as France struggles to contain a budget deficit hit hard by the economic crisis.

The tax increase will affect local brews and the 30% of imported beer the French drink. The change will push up the price of a beer by about 20% in bars and supermarkets, said Jacqueline Lariven, spokeswoman for the French brewer’s federation, Brasseurs de France.

The Brewers of Europe trade group described the measure as a “kick in the teeth”, as it follows a 6% fall in beer production and an 8% drop in consumption in the EU since the region’s debt crisis began in 2008.

Outside France, Belgium and Germany were likely to be hardest hit by the new legislation, said Pierre-Olivier Bergeron, head of the Brewers of Europe.

“This measure will affect all brewers, including small entrepreneurs,” he said. “This is a very shortsighted approach by penalising one sector.”

President Hollande said he hoped to raise €480m (£300m) from the tax increase on beer to boost medical insurance and elderly care.