« Personne ne peut plus croire que nos institutions fonctionnent bien (...) Notre régime politique apparaît tantôt cadenassé, tantôt instable » (No one can believe anymore that our institutions function well (...) Our political regime sometimes appears deadlocked, sometimes unstable)
The French companies that are doing well are doing well because of their activities OUTSIDE of France, others are subsisting merely because of protectionism. The best and brightest are leaving by droves, many to England, some to China, and myriad other countries because of the stifling regulatory burden on initiative. In your expat nostalgia, you are seeing the country as you want to believe it is, not as it truly is.
But I will agree with you that the CPE was an utterly wrong way to tackle it. Sweeping reform across all ages is necessary. And there are many people willing to hire employees that won't hire under a CDI and prefer to turn away contracts, rather than have an employee they can't get rid of. If you believe everything is really fine inside of French commerce, you really are willfully blind.
" it is well known within the country among most politicians and chefs d'entreprise that the country is reaching an untenable position. If you don't believe me, perhaps M. Balladur's words will provoke your interest:"
Why, yes, it certainly IS well known, to the French business right, that they want things organized their way, which would be along a much more American line, with far greater power of command for capital, and far less recourse for labor.
And certainly the French business right and politicians will argue, therefore, that the economic system is collapsing, etc., etc., and that everything will fall apart if they are not given the discretionary authority and power of command they want, ASAP.
But they are wrong. It is not true. It is their desire, but the rest of France isn't buying it. And yet, the French economy continues to grow, and 90.3% of the population continues to be employed.
This viewpoint: that France must "liberalize" in a distinctly Anglo-Saxon direction, by attacking job security of workers, particularly, and not other things (such as business corruption, for instance), is at Waterloo right now, with Villepin leading the charge.
Mme Royal will have other ideas, and implement them.