No 'austerity plan' for civil service

4th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 3, 2007 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Monday disowned comments by Finance Minister Christine Lagarde who said that projected cutbacks in the state administration amount to an "austerity plan".

PARIS, Sept 3, 2007 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Monday disowned comments by Finance Minister Christine Lagarde who said that projected cutbacks in the state administration amount to an "austerity plan".

"There is no austerity plan. What there is is a constant effort to reduce state expenditure," Fillon told France-Inter radio.

"We need discipline in the handling of public money. Because we have no choice but to reduce public expenditure," he said.

The government of President Nicolas Sarkozy has promised to cut 22,800 civil service jobs in 2008 by not replacing one in three of those who retire. In 2009, the posts of half of those who retire will not be refilled.

Speaking on Europe 1 radio on Sunday, Lagarde conceded that the cutbacks could be considered an "austerity plan ... targeting in particular the state administration."

AFP

Subject: French news

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