Archive for the ‘France: Lesson of Thatcher’ Category

France – The Topical Lesson of Mrs Thatcher

samedi, juin 8th, 2013

New BCiP Chairman Jeremy Stubbs drew our attention to the above rather surprising article in the French Les Echos business newspaper. This places Margaret Thatcher together with Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer, in that very rare class of important Europeans who, since the end of the Second World War, have left their mark on history.

Despite the economics of Thatcherism still serving as a benchmark internationally for her supporters and opponents alike, France stands out as a remarkable exception for both the political left and the right. The author sees this as due to the intellectual and moral rigidity of the French political and administrative elites.

Therefore, the first lesson from Margaret Thatcher for France, as much today as 30 years ago, is that economic success depends upon the capacity of the elites to accept a renewal of the economic strengths of the nation.

The second lesson for the elites in facing up to the new economic and social challenges, is to adapt their economic vision to reduce control by the state and its social partners and encourage more freedom of initiative and responsibility in the other parts of the economy.

Tony Blair, Mikhail Gorbatchev, Gerhard Schroeder, Angela Merkel and Lech Walesa have recognized and taken on board this message.