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Last Updated: Friday, 7 July 2006, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
France 'to learn to love market'
Dancers perform in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
Ministers want to promote a get-up-and go attitude
France hopes to soften hostile attitudes towards capitalism by promoting financial know-how and greater enterprise through the media.

A new body will try to boost financial literacy and communicate the benefits of wealth creation more effectively.

The rejection of an unpopular labour contract earlier this year is seen to have reinforced prevailing sceptical attitudes toward business in society.

Ministers want people to get a clearer understanding of France's economy.

Financial awareness

Attempts at economic reform have largely stalled and some senior ministers, including presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, have called for a radical break with France's corporatist economic model.

They are worried about what they see as an over-reliance on the state and a lack of entrepreneurial dynamism.

The Council for the Diffusion of Economic Culture will operate under the auspices of the finance ministry when it launches later this year.

It will be headed by Claude Perdriel, a media veteran who once edited the current affairs magazine Le Nouvel Observateur.

Demonstrations against proposed employment contracts earlier this year
Attempts at economic reforms have led to mass protests

The new body will seek to promote financial education through popular culture including television, the print media and computer games.

A survey earlier this year revealed widespread ignorance of financial terminology including the meaning of issues such as debt and output.

Finance minister Thierry Breton lamented the "significant lack of an economic culture" in France in a speech earlier this year.

Attitudes to the private sector have hardened since the government was forced to drop an employment contract in the face of mass protests.

The measure, designed to help tackle youth unemployment by making it easier for firms to hire and fire workers, was criticised for favouring the interests of business owners over employees.

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