Louis Gallois is an interesting character. A leading figure of the centre left, he has spent most of his career, after a stint behind the scenes in government, leading massive industrial machines: the SNCF national railway operator, and EADS, the aviation giant that owns Airbus. He also might be the most stereotypically French looking man since General de Gaulle.
This is a man with Socialist sympathies who knows business, particularly international business. It was therefore with some confidence that the government announced that he would take the role of Investment Commissioner and produce a report on competitiveness in the French economy, which would propose measures that the government would use as a blueprint for reforming the economy. Now as leaks and rumours seem to be spiralling out of control, the government appears to be backpedaling on the importance of the report and the media is using it to bludgeon the President and Prime Minister. And it hasn’t even been published yet. What went wrong, and what should the government do? Continue reading