AP Interview: Economy chief says France is back and open for business, pledges big reforms

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

France's economy minister says he's "surprised" at reports that the British economy is now bigger than the French — but acknowledges the need for big changes in his country to reinvigorate hiring and investment.

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Emmanuel Macron, speaking to The Associated Press at a major electronics show in Las Vegas, says France's economy needs "more disruption" and to "accelerate our efforts for competitiveness" via lower taxes.

Macron is a controversial figure within his Socialist Party, where opponents fear he is pushing France too far toward an American-style model that doesn't do enough to protect workers and the needy.

He said late Tuesday that France is "struggling" to restart growth but there is "no official statement" confirming a report in Le Figaro newspaper that Britain's GDP had outstripped France's.