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French bankers escape Hollande

French bankers escape Hollande | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it

HIGHER taxes and an anti-business attitude are driving French bankers and high-fliers out of Paris and into London, City A.M. has learned from recruiters and estate agents.

Socialist President Francois Hollande’s planned 75p top tax rate was the flagship policy in his election campaign – but instead of raising cash from the super-rich, it could simply drive them abroad.

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to capitalise on the French leader’s policies, this summer saying he would “roll out the red carpet” to French firms put off by Hollande’s perceived anti-business stance.

London-based recruitment firm Astbury Marsden, which specialises in the banking sector, has seen a 51 per cent rise in French-language applicants in recent months, compared with the same period of 2011.

“There is a definite spike in French-speaking candidates,” said managing director Jonathan Nicholson.

“We have not seen similar increases in candidates from other countries, so it may well be connected to May’s change in government in France.”

Surveys from TotalJobs.com have found 42 per cent of French workers are willing to move to the UK.

Similarly, only 32 per cent of the global workforce would be happy to work in France compared with 49 per cent who are willing to work in the UK, while London is consistently seen as the most popular city among workers internationally.

International recruiter Robert Walters told City A.M. that some of the largest French firms are lobbying fiercely against the tax, threatening to move abroad unless exemptions are found for their top earners – although families’ enthusiasm for the move may be dampened by higher living costs in London than in Paris.

Meanwhile estate agency Savills has reported rising numbers of French buyers in London since the election of President Hollande – and predicts the trend will grow stronger next year.

“There is no doubt that French buyers have made up a significant proportion of our clients this year,” said Savills’ Lindsay Cuthill.

“Whereas previously they were not committed long-term, often renting small houses or apartments, since the election they are buying larger houses and looking to stay for longer.”

And she expects more families to move in the middle of 2013, ahead of the next school year.

“I suspect that the election came at the wrong time for many families, who had already committed to the school year. I predict a sharp rise in moves next year in a second round of relocations.”

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Far left concedes defeat to Le Pen's National Front

Far left concedes defeat to Le Pen's National Front | Race & Crime UK | Scoop.it
France's far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon conceded defeat to the far-right National Front's Marine Le Pen (pictured) following a first round of parliamentary elections on Sunday, saying he would not compete in the June 17 second round.


French far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon conceded defeat to anti-immigrant leader Marine Le Pen in Sunday's first-round parliamentary election, saying he would not stand in the second round.

Left Front leader Melenchon had taken Le Pen and her far-right National Front party head-on in a bitter battle in Henin-Beaumont, a rundown former mining constituency near the northern city of Lille.

"It's normal to be disappointed but we must not be defeated," Melenchon said.

Melenchon said he would not stand in next Sunday's second round after coming third, instead leaving his Socialist rival to battle Le Pen.

Le Pen claimed that the result meant her party, which wants to ditch the euro, was now France's third political power.

"Given the abstention rate and a profoundly anti-democratic electoral system that has for 25 years deprived millions of voters of MPs, we confirm our position tonight as France's third political force," Le Pen said.

Although the party has not won a seat in parliament since 1986, Le Pen is seeking to build on her strong showing in the presidential vote and cement her party's place in national politics.

Melenchon won 11 percent of votes in the April-May presidential vote that was won by Socialist Francois Hollande, while Le Pen won almost 18 percent of votes.

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