Every CES, there are more and more French startups. At this point, it would make sense to move CES to Paris or at least New York so that thousands of French people don’t have to fly all the way to Las Vegas.
French startups also attract French politicians. And that’s why France’s former Prime Minister and current presidential candidate François Fillon was there, trying to prove that he understands French startups.
François Fillon was Prime Minister from 2007 to 2012 when Nicolas Sarkozy was France’s President. After 2012, he has been pretty quiet for a few years, preparing for the 2017 presidential election. Last Fall, against all odds, he won the primary election for the conservative party ahead of Nicolas Sarkozy and front-runner Alain Juppé.
He’s now the official candidate for the main conservative party in France and also happens to be leading in the polls as current president François Hollande and his party are extremely unpopular. So there’s a good chance that Fillon is going to become France’s next president and that he’s going to have a huge impact on the startup ecosystem in France and Europe.
During an interview with TechCrunch, Fillon said:
Of course I have a message to say to the startup community. The first message I want to say is that the digital revolution is for me the key when it comes to growth and France remaining a major economic power in the world. And the second message I want to say is that there is no hope, there is no future for French startups in a country with 6 million unemployed people, 57 percent of public expenditure and the world record of taxes. So of course the digital revolution is essential, but it can only take off if we fix the foundation, foster a healthy economy. And this is the message I want to say here, but especially for the election in France.