• By Ben Hall in Paris, Financial Times, FT.com
Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, yesterday set out a raft of measures to reverse the decline of industry, promising a bigger role for the state in boosting innovation and saving jobs.
Mr Sarkozy painted a grim picture of French manufacturing, which has lost 500,000 jobs since 2000, and a lot of ground against its leading competitors. Since 2007 France has run a growing deficit in industrial goods, excluding energy, after 20 years of surplus. "Industry which is not profitable enough, does not invest enough, does not innovate enough, that is the vicious circle our country has been in for 10 years," he said.
"We must break it with the utmost determination," he added.
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