French President Francois Hollande reacts as he attends a Franco-Spanish summit at the Elysee Palace in Paris December 1, 2014. REUTERS/Lionel Bonaventure/Pool
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A war of words has broken out in France between the government and business leaders over a key agreement between them that aims to drag the country out of its economic morass.This is the deal: The government offered businesses some 40 billion euros ($49 billion) in tax breaks and other sweeteners, in exchange for creating 500,000 jobs before 2017 – when the next presidential election is due to take place.Stephane Garelli, an expert in world competitiveness at the Swiss University of Lausanne, said the relationship between government and business in France was "so conflictual that you have the feeling it's very hard to get them working together".He said that certain employers might be playing for time in the knowledge that Hollande's extremely unpopular Socialist government is unlikely to win the 2017 election and there may be a better deal to be struck with a center-right replacement.Gattaz estimated Monday that businesses will have been hit by 42 billion euros in tax increases between 2010 and 2015 .
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