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February 13, 2013

Francois Pinault: The Big Danger Facing us Today is the ‘Return of Populism’

By Spear's

‘The big danger is the return of populism. The system is tired, even if democracy is still the best system,’ Francois Pinault, France’s third richest man, told Spear’s.

Francois Pinault started out as a wood merchant before moving into the luxury market. His holding company Artemis owns luxury conglomerate PPR — Gucci, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent Paris and Bottega Veneta — as well as other activities and properties, including Christie’s. With an estimated fortune of $13 billion, he’s one of the richest men in the world.

Alain Elkann interviewed Pinault for Spear’s and asked him about the future of Europe and the global economy:
[Pinault] believes in Europe: ‘There is no choice other than Europe. It will succeed for the next generations.’

The Middle East? ‘The situation is as always very unstable.’

China? ‘In spite of a small slowdown, China remains the great power of the future. The road is traced, even if the US and the dollar are far from being dead. Likewise, Brazil is now an emerging power with interesting prospects. Africa, too, will make it since it has all the commodities, but it will take time, they come from very far.’

What is the main danger facing us today? ‘The big danger is the return of populism. The system is tired, even if democracy is still the best system.’

Pinault insists on the fact that we have to think that as Europeans we are 400 million people living in a politically stable area for the time being. About France, he concedes a loss of speed, but is confident about the future, given the capacity of his country to overcome difficult times and the direction taken by François Hollande’s government to tackle the economy’s structural problems.
You can read the full interview online from 11am tomorrow

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