If you listen to politicians long enough, you will eventually get nuggets of truth. France, the country that bequeathed socialism to the world, has found that its own socialist policies have drained the national piggy bank dry - at least that according to France's labour minister, Michel Sapin, who in an interview yesterday called his nation "totally bankrupt."
Ah, but there is more to the story. It is not just that France is bankrupt, it is that they are socialists trying to salvage their welfare state by jacking up taxes on the wealthy to unprecedented levels. So how is that working our for them:
The comments came as President Hollande attempts to improve the image of the French economy after pledging to reduce the country’s deficit by cutting spending by €60bn (£51.5bn) over the next five years and increasing taxes by €20bn. Data from Banque de France showed earlier this month that a flight of capital has already left the country amid concerns that France’s Socialist leader intends to soak the rich and businesses. The actor Gérard Depardieu has renounced his French citizenship and decamped to Russia in protest, while David Cameron said Britain will “roll out the red carpet” to attract wealthy individuals.
I do get an inordinate amount of schadenfreude from the French socialists. But then again, they deserve it.