French Socialist Labour Minister: We are “totally bankrupt”

Truth seeps out.

Michel Sapin made the gaffe in a radio interview, which left French President Francois Hollande battling to undo the potential reputational damage.

“There is a state but it is a totally bankrupt state,” Mr Sapin said. “That is why we had to put a deficit reduction plan in place, and nothing should make us turn away from that objective.”…

Pierre Moscovici, the finance minister, said the comments by Mr Sapin were “inappropriate”.

No confirmation yet from the French finance minister if they are true or not. At least the Zimbabwe’s finance minister is more honest with the state of his nation.

After paying public workers’ salaries last week, the balance in cash-strapped Zimbabwe’s government public account stood at just $217, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said Tuesday.

“Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 (left) in government coffers,” Biti told journalists in the capital Harare, claiming some of them had healthier bank balances than the state.

Our occasional correspondent Caol Ila writes: It is bad enough to be bankrupt, but it is much worse when a majority of the population insist that they are entitled to even more benefits and less work. The French have this notion that it is still about 1680 and that they are the biggest, most powerful, and wealthiest country in Europe and the centre of all learning, culture, sophistication and taste in the world. Some get it, but most actually think they are important and that the rest of the world cares what they think. As part of the greatest nation the world has ever known, it’s people, almost all of whom would describe themselves as intellectuals, are entitled to every consideration and benefit imaginable. Even people on welfare are entitled to two weeks “holiday” at a resort.

Any government brave enough to suggest that there may be a limit to the amount of money that the economy can hand out to anyone who asks is quickly dismissed as either mean, stupid, fascist or all three by the do nothings who sit around in the cafes smoking and talking about how stupid everyone else happens to be. There is no room for reality or the truth, but plenty for warmed over notions of what is fashionable this week in New York or California .

The present state of France’s bankruptcy is not their worst problem. It is their utter inability to recognize that there is a problem and a complete unwillingness to take any tough measures at all to deal with it. Although the world usually observes that the Italians are completely incapable of governing themselves, I think it that observation applies with just as much, if not more validity, to the French.