French PM announces 45 bln euros in spending cuts by 2013

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France will slash state spending by 45 billion euros (54.5 billion dollars) in the next three years to get its public deficit back down to three percent, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said Saturday.

In France's first announcement of austerity measures as bond markets have mounted pressure on European nations, Fillon said the government would cut the public deficit by 100 billion euros, with half coming from slashing spending and half from increasing revenues.

"We've taken a commitment to bring down our deficit from eight to three percent by 2013 and we will concentrate all of our efforts on it," Fillon said at a meeting of new members of his UMP party.

The prime minister said state spending would be cut by 45 billion euros.

Closing tax loopholes will bring in five billion euros, and a rebound in the economy should bring in an additional 35 billion euros, he added.

"As and when growth returns, revenues will grow once again," said Fillon.

The remaining 15 billion euros will come from halting temporary measures to boost the economy, said the prime minister.

© 2010 AFP

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