Throwing the guantlet at the feet of the Socialist president Francois Hollande, the IMF said rising tax rates are undermining France as a place "to work and invest" and leading to a "significant loss of competitiveness".
"There is a risk it will get worse if France does not adapt at the same pace as its trading partners in Europe, notably Italy and Spain," it said.
The IMF challenge had an added piquancy coming from a body headed by France's Christine Lagarde, widely touted as the next Gaulliste leader and a future rival for the French presidency.
The warning came as French industrialist Louis Gallois delivered a long-awaited report to Mr Hollande calling for "shock therapy" to stop the national rot, with drastic cuts in business payroll taxes to claw back loss ground against Germany and other EMU states.
Print 19:43, 05 Nov 2012 - Economic commentary - Source: Telegraph
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