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Economy/European Council

Published on December 23, 2014
Press conference given by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic

Brussels, December 18, 2014

THE PRESIDENT – First of all, this European Council meeting is going to focus on the Juncker plan: €315 billion to revitalize investment, carry out the energy transition and roll out modern digital technology.

It was a major French demand and a wish I’d expressed several times since June 2012. We’ve finally arrived at the plan, and I want to pay tribute to the European Commission’s efforts to move quickly, because we must now move quickly. The economic situation is favourable; the price of oil is very low, the euro has fallen against the dollar – that’s an advantage – and we have very low interest rates. (…)

Q. – Will France also be contributing financially to this investment plan?

THE PRESIDENT – France is going to support this European investment plan. France is going to add funds and France is going to add finance, to ensure there is more investment and more support for growth in our own country.

Q. – What are the criteria for there to be more investment?

THE PRESIDENT – The criteria for the projects we want to develop at European and French level are all about the energy transition. The Climate Conference will be taking place in December 2015 and we must commit ourselves to it – to digital technology, because it’s very important for us to be on the cutting edge, and every infrastructure too. I’m going to meet the Spanish Prime Minister and the Portuguese Prime Minister; it’s in our interest for there to be as much infrastructure as possible; and likewise, we have many shared projects with the Italians and the Germans that I want to implement.

Q. – And for France?

THE PRESIDENT – Everything in its own time; we’re soon going to begin procedures so as to be ready on 1 January, in a few days’ time, to present the investment projects to the Commission so that the Juncker plan is implemented in France as soon as possible./.

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