In France taxation is too high and it is the main cause of low demand and further to deflation. In this setting it does not matter whether it is VAT or other taxes. French people haven't any cash in their pouches to buy stuff. That's all.
As a matter of facts when we compare GDP/hab ($) between France and Denmark; we get that from 96-00 to 2011-2015:
Look at the trend to understand why demand is crashed by taxes: