France needs to make 5.3 billion euros ($6.6 billion) a year in annual savings in order to balance the budget in 2016, Les Echos reported, citing an official report that hasn’t been made public.
The Inspection Generale des Finances recommended cutting the number of government employees, as well as salary and hiring freezes, according to the newspaper. The report, ordered by former Prime Minister Francois Fillon, said that 21 billion euros in savings to 2016 would mean projected spending increases would be cut in half.
A plan by Socialist President Francois Hollande to push back by one year to 2017 the elimination of the budget deficit would be “useful” in the case of weak economic growth, Les Echos said. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has begin preparing the 2013 budget.