France to get Internet game to explain budget
PARIS, April 26, 2006 (AFP) - The French government is to launch an Internet game called Cyberbudget to help teach the public about the difficulties of balancing the country's books, Budget Minister Jean-Francois Cope said Wednesday.
In a speech announcing new arrangements for income tax collection, Cope said the game will be available online by the end of May.
“It is an idea which comes from Japan and we’ve adapted it for the public at large. Players have to take my place as budget minister, draw up the state budget and then manage it in the face of unforeseen circumstances. It should be a fun way to think about budget issues,” he said.
Media reports said that up to 10,000 players will be able to take part simultaneously.
“The French want reforms but they gnash their teeth whenever it’s a question of cutting costs. So this is a way of familiarising them with the budget,” Cope told Le Parisien newspaper.
Virtual ministers will have to control some 300 billion euros (370 billion dollars) of expenditure, taking care to keep the annual deficit within three percent and overall debt within 60 percent of output in accordance with EU rules.
Subject: French news