French gov't aims spending cut of 4.5 bln euros in 2017 to meet deficit target: minister

BY  | FROM  | 2017-07-12 16:21

France was working to generate 4.5 billion euros (5.12 billion U.S. dollars) in spending cuts in 2017 as it wants to tame the public deficit to 3 percent of economic output by the end of this year, Gerald Darmanin, minister of action and public accounts said on Tuesday.
In an interview with the local newspaper Le Parisien, Darmanin said "France will keep its word" after it had broken several times promises to reach the safe line of 3 percent imposed by the European Union (EU).
"We found 4.5 billion euros of savings to lower the deficit under 3 percent from this year by reducing state budget only. Neither local authorities nor social security will be involved," the minister added.
In "an unprecedented" move, the government will squeeze public expenditure without increasing taxes and affecting public services in relation with French daily life, according to Darmanin.
The government aims to balance the country's public finances squeezing mainly by trimming ministerial budgets without slashing jobs, he added.
In a recent report, France's audit office La Cour des Comptes saw the deficit of the eurozone's main powerhouse at 3.2 percent of the national output this year, due to 8-billion-euro budget shortfall left by the outgoing Socialist government.
French President Emmanuel Macron has promised to meet the budget gap target of 2.8 percent by the end of 2017. He also pledged to cut public spending by 60 billion euros by 2022. (1 euro = 1.14 U.S. dollars)

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