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Spring 2008: Retail Property and French Politics

by Richard Plummer, Sarah Bate and Mary Lappa

The “social” model of governance, applied in France since the late 1990s by the Socialist party, has proven to have limitations with respect to the economic performance of France. Unemployment levels are some of the highest in Europe, and public sector employee pension provision and rising healthcare costs have imposed an increasing burden on public finances. As a result, recently elected president Nicolas Sarkozy has embraced the challenge of increasing economic activity and efficiency. In an attempt to increase consumer spending, improve productivity and reduce state spending, Sarkozy has a long list of 314 reforms on his agenda.

Three of these reforms could potentially lead to change in the retail sector and therefore affect the real estate market. These are the Loi (‘Law’) Royer/Raffarin, which regulates retail development activity; the Loi Gallan, which regulates competition among retailers; and possible changes to retail commercial lease stan

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