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I'm afraid that Euractiv is not seeing the forest for the trees here.

Gintz, a Hollande holdover, has not been fired over his management of the customs nor over Brexit preparedness either: the article does acknowledge "he managed to overcome the consequences of" various investigations related to fraud within the services.

As described in Les Echos, his firing is part of a larger spoil system "à la française", which Macron had made no mysteries he wanted to implement: over the past six months, several directors of major state administrations have been "rotated" alongside Gintz, such as the chief of Tracfin (investigating money laundering) or the fiscal administration last May.

As true blue neo-libs, the Macron regime is pushing hard to reduce the size of the government and reduce the numbers of civil servants, having been temporarily stopped by the yellow jackets protests last year. Les Echos do mention close to 5,800 positions to be eliminated at the ministry of finances (nickname: Bercy) alone.

Another fly in the ointment - besides the yellow jackets, that is - is Brexit: the government has been forced to add 700 customs agents to be deployed in French ports on the Channel, the EuroTunnel entrance and various train stations where the Eurostar trains operate. Even then, the customs agents will be strained, especially in case of no-deal where agents will have to work overtime. As Euractiv mentions, the government has agreed - reluctantly, you can be sure - to a monthly bonus.

by Bernard on Sat Sep 7th, 2019 at 09:50:41 AM EST
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