France to slash defence spending: source

2nd July 2010, Comments 0 comments

France's defence ministry will slash spending by 3.5 billion euros between 2011 and 2013 to contribute to government efforts to rein in the public deficit, an official close to the issue said Thursday.

The cuts -- less than four percent of the defence budget if pensions are not taken into account -- will be partly compensated to the tune of two billion euros due to one-time sales of buildings, the official said.

Defence Minister Herve Morin vowed in March to cut spending.

The official said the cuts would not affect production and delivery of weaponry, planes, ships or nuclear submarines.

The official said the defence budget was provisionally pegged at 95 billion euros for the period from 2011 to 2013 but with the spending cuts, the figure would now be around 91.6 billion euros.

© 2010 AFP

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