French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire pledged the government would press ahead with structural reforms after Fitch Ratings highlighted social unrest over planned pension reforms by downgrading its rating of France’s credit rating.
“I think the facts invalidate the Fitch agency’s assessment,” Le Maire told AFP on Saturday.
Citing the government’s reform plans for pensions and unemployment benefits, Le Maire added that “we are in a position to adopt structural reforms for the country…And we will continue to adopt structural reforms for the country” .
The Mayor said French President Emmanuel Macron’s government was considering “a whole series of reforms” that will accelerate “the transformation of the French economic model”. A plan for green industry, which the government will present “in a few days”, will allow France “to open new industrial sites and create new jobs”, he said.
Fitch lowered France’s rating on Friday by one notch to AA- from AA. “Social and political pressures exemplified by protests against pension reform will complicate fiscal consolidation,” the agency said.
“Political stalemate and (sometimes violent) social unrest pose a risk to Macron’s reform agenda and could create pressure for more expansionary fiscal policy or a reversal of previous reforms,” he said. -he adds.
The government has faced fierce protests after passing a pension reform that will raise the legal retirement age from 62 to 64. The unions plan to continue their demonstrations with a “massive mobilization” on Monday.