• Luncheon with Patrick Devedjian, Minister of the Recovery Plan

    October 21 2009, 12:45 - 12:45
    Location: InterContinental Hotel Paris Le Grand
    Patrick Devedjian, Minister for the Recovery Plan, addressed AmCham and Entreprise et Progrés members at a luncheon on October 21 at the Grand Hotel.  The Minister emphasized that, contrary to other countries, France elected to spend 75% of its recovery funds in 2009, so that it has been able to post the highest growth rate in Europe.  For this, France's centralized system, often a handicap, was an asset, since it allowed funds to be dispersed quickly and relatively efficiently.  Small firms, for example, were able to appeal directly to the local Prefet if they were facing problems, so that they could continue operations and preserve employment.  Of 1000 promised state projects 850 have already been started and €23 billion has been spent.  54% of this spending is slated for the second half of 2009, so more economic growth is likely.  Minister Devedjian also emphasized that the French government is firmly opposed to economic protectionism, citing the example of a US car firm which was bailed out because it would preserve 1500 jobs in France.