Blog: French CEOs to pick up national tax bill
Chris Mercer | 24 August 2011
CEOs of some of France's largest companies, including Evian water producer Danone, have said that they are willing to pay a one-off tax contribution to help the country reduce its debt.
No, we're not taking drugs. This is really happening, as evidenced by an open letter published in France's Nouvel Observateur magazine today (24 August) - how's your French?. Danone CEO Franck Riboud is among the high-level signatories of the letter, which says that the gesture to pay a one-off tax contribution comes amid concern for the economic future of France and Europe.
Shall we be cynical? Yes? What a fantastic bit of publicity this is, for both the companies and the government. Let's not pretend for one moment that the contribution will touch the sides of France's long-standing debt problems.
That said, it is a very unusual move, and something similar has already been proposed by US billionaire Warren Buffet in his own country of birth. For symbolism alone, it is worthy of note.
Tomorrow, I shall be interviewing Diageo's CEO, Paul Walsh, on the drinks giant's full-year results. What odds would you put on UK CEOs following the French lead?
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Here's a round-up of the top stories on just-drinks last week, featuring Carlsberg, Heineken, Coca-Cola Amatil, California's winelands and Cognac....
- The End of the Road for International Beer Brands?
- Allegro: The shape of things to come at Pernod?
- Pernod Ricard's FY Performance by Region, Brand
- Pernod Ricard's Allegro cost-saving programme
- US craft vodka puts squeeze on Pernod's Absolut
- Pernod bemoans tough FY as sales, profits drop
- ASA bans Jägermeister TV ad
- Pernod Ricard set for CMO switch
- Scotch whisky leaders sign pro-UK letter
- Molson Coors appoints Europe CEO