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经济学人:法国经济萎靡 奥朗德痛失民心

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France’s economy

法国经济
The performance gap
绩效差距
The French government seems to realise at last that urgent action is needed to restore the country’s competitiveness
法国政府终觉悟,恢复国家竞争力迫在眉睫
THE end of the early shift, and workers at the Peugeot car factory at Aulnay-sous-Bois, near Paris, are streaming out through the turnstiles. The anger is raw; the disappointment crushing. In July, when the company announced that the plant, which employs 3,000 workers, was to close, President Francois Hollande loudly branded the decision “unacceptable”. Two months and an official report later, his government has now accepted its fate. “Hollande said that he would look after us,” says Samir Lasri, who has worked on the production line for 12 years: “Now we regret voting for him.”
早班结束,位于巴黎边上的欧奈苏布瓦市的标致汽车厂的工人们从十字转门里蜂涌而出。他们异常愤怒,失望至极。七月份,该公司宣布将关闭这个拥有3000名员工的工厂时,法国总统弗朗索瓦·奥朗德大声疾呼该决是“不可接受的”。然而,两个月后,一则官方报道称政府已经接受了它关闭的命运。“奥朗德之前说他会照顾我们的活,”已经在生产线工作了12年的萨米尔·拉斯利说,“现在我们后悔给他投票了”。

法国绩效差距.jpg

The decision by Peugeot-PSA, a loss-making carmaker, to shut its factory at Aulnay, the first closure of a French car plant for 20 years, and to shed 8,000 jobs across the country has rocked France. It has become an emblem both of the country’s competitiveness problem and of the new Socialist government’s relative powerlessness, despite its promises, to stop private-sector restructuring. Tough as it is for the workers concerned, the planned closure may have had at least one beneficial effect: to jolt the country into recognising that France is losing competitiveness and that the government needs to do something about it.

标致雪铁龙集团一直处于亏损之中,他们决定关闭在欧奈的工厂,同时裁掉8000名员工,这是二十年来第一个关闭的法国工厂。他们的决定震惊了整个法国这也象征着法国的竞争力问题和社会主义政府的无能为力,虽然他们一直承诺停止私营企业的重组。对于工人来说,他们的生活非常艰难,但是这个计划中的关闭可能至少会有一个有利影响,迫使法国政府认识到国家正在失去竞争力,并采取相关措施。
Over the past 12 years, a competitiveness gap has opened up between France and Germany, its biggest trading partner. This shows both in manufacturing unit-labour costs, which have risen by 28% in France since 2000, but only 8% in Germany, and in France’s declining share of extra-EU exports. A cross-border study of two chemicals firms by Henri Lagarde, a French businessman, points to part of the problem: the German company pays only 17% of its employees’ gross salaries in social charges, next to 38% for its French counterpart. A recent study of competitiveness ranked Germany in sixth place; France came 21st.
在过去的12年里,法国和他的最大的贸易伙伴德国的竞争力出现了差距。2000年至今,法国的制造业单位劳动成本上升了28%,而德国只上升了8%,同时法国对非欧盟地区的出口也在下降。德国商人亨利·拉加德做了一项有关两个化学品公司的跨境研究,指出了问题的一部分:德国公司仅用员工薪资总额的17%来交社会负担费用,而他们的法国竞争者却用了38%之多。最新的竞争力排名德国居第六位,法国仅排在第21位。
During the presidential election campaign earlier this year, competitiveness scarcely featured—either on the right or the left. Once elected, Mr Hollande gave Arnaud Montebourg, who wrote a best-seller calling for “deglobalisation”, a ministerial job designed to stop industrial closures. Mr Montebourg has duly toured the country promising the impossible.
在前些日子本年度的总统大选期间,无论是右派还是左派都没有对竞争力问题足够重视。奥朗德先生在当选后给了阿诺德·蒙特伯格一份部长级的重任以防止工厂倒闭。蒙特伯格曾写了一本畅销书来呼吁“去全球化”,他会按期在全国巡游许诺“工厂关闭”是不可能的。
This autumn, however, as factory closures mount, a creeping sense of reality seems to be setting in. Mr Hollande may still be bent on his new 75% top tax rate, yet on other matters the tone has changed. Not only has the Aulnay closure been accepted, but Mr Hollande has talked of “painful” efforts ahead. He warned about 10 billion ($13 billion) of spending cuts, as well as 20 billion of tax increases, in the 2013 budget. Above all, he called for a “reform of the labour market”—traditionally a taboo for the left.
然而,这个秋天,随着关闭的工厂越来越多,人们正开始慢慢地感受到这种现实感。奥朗德先生可能还在一心致力于他的新的75%最高税率,但是其他问题的基调却已经悄然改变。不仅欧奈的关闭已经被接受,而且奥朗德先生已经事先谈到了“痛苦”的努力。他提醒大家在2013年的预算中开支将会缩减100亿欧元(约合130亿美元),同时税收将增加200欧元。最后,他呼吁“劳动力市场改革”,这在传统上却是左派的禁忌。
Mr Montebourg may still denounce the “greed of the financial system”, but other ministers, notably Pierre Moscovici, the finance minister, and Michel Sapin, the labour minister, sound more reasonable. “We want to be sensibly pro-business,” says Mr Moscovici. “We are very conscious that our economy won’t perform without our companies.” Advisers recognise that labour costs too much and that the level of public spending—at 56% of GDP the second-highest in the European Union—is a problem for France.
蒙特伯格先生可能还在指责“贪婪的金融体系”,但是以财政部长皮埃尔·莫斯科维奇和劳工部长米歇尔·萨潘为代表的其他部长的话听起来却更加合理。“我们要让企业感受到我们支持他们”,莫斯科维奇先生说,“我们深刻地认识到企业对于经济的重要性,没有企业经济就表现不好。”法国的财政顾问也认识到国家面临着这样一个问题,劳动力花费太高,公共事业支出水平占国内生产总值的56%,这在欧盟是第二高的。
If there is a new mood, it is partly because of the stagnating economy, and partly because business chiefs have been pressing ministers to stop bashing them. France still has plenty of competitive industrial firms. This summer, Mr Hollande spent three hours visiting a research facility near Paris belonging to Valeo, a successful high-tech car-components supplier with 10.9 billion in annual sales.
如果出现什么新情况,那么一部分是因为经济停滞不前,还有一部分是因为商界领袖一直在给部长们施压,让他们停止痛击,法国依然拥有许多有竞争力的工业企业。这个夏天,奥朗德先生花了三个小时参观了位于巴黎附近的法雷奥集团的研究实验室,该集团是一个非常成功的高科技汽车零部件供应商,每年的销售额达到109亿欧元。
How far the new realism will translate into bold decisions, however, is another matter. One immediate test will be the 2013 budget, due on September 28th. The French now face the shock of cuts. Mr Moscovici insists that, however difficult, France’s promise to reduce its budget deficit to 3% by 2013 will be respected.
然而,他们还面临着另外一个问题,何时才能将这个新的现实主义转化为大胆的决策。一个迫在眉睫的考验就是9月28日就将出台的2013年的预算。法国人民现在正面临着财政缩减的打击。尽管非常困难,但是莫斯科维奇先生还是坚持尊重法国在2013年将预算赤字减少到3%的承诺。
Equally hard will be a test of the new team’s resolve to improve competitiveness. Louis Gallois, a former businessman, is due to produce a report next month. He is likely to argue for a “competitiveness shock”, including the transfer of a chunk of payroll charges to other forms of taxation, such as green taxes or the contribution sociale generalisee(CSG), which is levied on not only the payroll but financial returns, pensions and unemployment benefit.
同样严峻的考研还有新队伍提高竞争力的决心。路易斯曾是一位商人,他将在下个月做一个报告。他很可能会极力赞成“竞争力冲击”,包括将一大部分的工资费用转变为其他形式的税收,比如环境税和社会保障公款,它不仅针对工资征税,还有金融回报,退休金和失业救济金。
Most critical of all, Mr Hollande has given union leaders and bosses until December to negotiate labour-market changes. On the table are various options, including making it possible for firms to reduce hours and salaries in a downturn against a guarantee of job security, along the lines introduced by Gerhard Schrader in Germany in 2003. The CFDT union’s incoming leader, Laurent Berger, also accepts the case for more suppleness in the labour market.
最关键的是,奥朗德先生还将工会领导人和老板们关于改变劳动力市场的谈判定在12月。谈判桌上有多种选择,包括通过减少工作时间和降低薪水使公司能在低迷期以保障工作的稳固,根据格哈特·施罗德在2003年提出的方案。即将上任的法国民主联盟领导人洛朗·博杰也接受劳动力市场更有弹性的方案。
All of which is at least encouraging. Yet it is one thing to recognise a problem, and quite another to do something about it. Much will depend on the attitude of union leaders, who do not enjoy a reputation for co-operation and compromise. But in the end, it will come down to Mr Hollande’s resolve. He promises to pass a labour-reform law anyway, even if no deal is reached. His Socialist Party controls power at all levels across France; he is at the start of a five-year term; and his popularity is already dropping fast. If he cannot do what is needed this autumn, it is unlikely that he ever will.
至少这些措施还是很鼓舞人心的。然而认识到问题只是第一步,更重要的是采取应对措施。这很大程度上取决于工会领导人的态度,虽然他们在合作和妥协方面并非享有盛名。但是归根到底还是由奥朗德先生决定。他承诺无论如何也要通过一部劳动力改革法案,虽然至今还没有达成一致。他的社会党掌握了法国各个层次的权力;他五年的执政期才刚开始;同时他的受欢迎程度正在迅速下降。如果他这个秋天不能有所作为,那么接下来的日子他也不会有什么动作。翻译:姜振南

译文属译生译世

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security [si'kju:riti]

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n. 安全,防护措施,保证,抵押,债券,证券

 
counterpart ['kauntəpɑ:t]

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n. 相似之物,副本,对应物

联想记忆
performance [pə'fɔ:məns]

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n. 表演,表现; 履行,实行
n. 性能,本

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shift [ʃift]

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n. 交换,变化,移动,接班者
v. 更替,移

 
transfer [træns'fə:]

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n. 迁移,移动,换车
v. 转移,调转,调任

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intend [in'tend]

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vt. 想要,计划,打算,意指

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promising ['prɔmisiŋ]

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adj. 有希望的,有前途的

 
paragon ['pærəgən]

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n. 模范,典型 vt. 与 ... 比较,比得上

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budget ['bʌdʒit]

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n. 预算
vt. 编预算,为 ... 做预算

 
social ['səuʃəl]

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adj. 社会的,社交的
n. 社交聚会

 

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