Raffarin pledges to battle on with reforms

28th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 28 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Sunday that the centre-right government must draw the consequences from its heavy defeat by the Socialists at regional polls, but he insisted the policies of economic reform must continue.

PARIS, March 28 (AFP) - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said Sunday that the centre-right government must draw the consequences from its heavy defeat by the Socialists at regional polls, but he insisted the policies of economic reform must continue.

"Our action must be more effective, it must be more just. Certainly there must be changes," he said on French television.

"But it is not forbidden to recall that what has been done in the last two years was not done in the previous five (under the Socialists). I am sure the French do not want a return to immobility. Reforms must be continued very simply because they are necessary," he said.

Raffarin said that during his term law and order had been strengthened, the pensions system reformed and in recent weeks the unemployment rate had levelled off.

"It is not enough, I acknowledge, and today French men and women told us that clearly," he said.

Raffarin's future as prime minister was in question after the regional results, as President Jacques Chirac prepared a cabinet reshuffle for early in the week.

© AFP

                                         Subject: French news

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