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French Government May Cut Staffing, Subsidies, Le Figaro Reports

The French government plans to cut its workforce, trim spending and scrap subsidies for the 2013-2015 budget to help meet deficit targets, Le Figaro reported today, citing an unidentified Budget Ministry official.

The plan, initiated by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac, would require that all ministries except the education, justice and interior ministries face “severe” cuts, the newspaper reported. Each ministry will be informed of their final budget by the end of July, the newspaper said.

Cuts will include reducing the number of civil service jobs by 2.5 percent annually, slashing operating costs -- including car fleets -- by 10 percent next year and 3 percent for the two following years. The planned budget will mean 40 percent less in subsidies for all non-social welfare activities, such as farming, cultural events, subsidies to non-governmental organizations, Figaro said.

A Budget Ministry spokesperson, who declined to be identified, denied the report when contacted by Bloomberg News. The prime minister’s press office wasn’t immediately available when called by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporters on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net

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