Macron urges local authorities to cut spending by €13bn
22 July, 2017
French local authorities will have to cut spending by €13bn by 2022, President Emmanuel Macron said last Monday, emphasising that “intelligent” savings can be found. This €13bn cut will be a shock to many, as Macron pledged only €10bn of cuts during the election campaign, French media recall. Francois Baroin, Senator and head of the French mayors’ association, insisted that local authorities have already made 34% of France’s savings in public expenditure over the last three years, while stating that “80% of the debt is the responsibility of the state.” Anticipating pushback from unions, PM Edouard Phillipe said the government will not change its course.
The IMF last Monday hailed the French president's “ambitious” reform programme, saying his spending cuts and tax overhaul could “go a long way in addressing... longstanding economic challenges.” The government has pledged to meet the EU deficit limit of 3.0% of GDP in 2017, a target France has missed for the past decade. The government said a week ago it had identified €4.5bn in savings in order to meet the goal.
Meanwhile last Wednesday France's armed forces chief General Pierre de Villiers resigned in a dispute with Emmanuel Macron over defence budget cuts. The row between them erupted after Macron announced an €850m cut to the defence budget in an effort to meet the EU’s requirement that member states maintain their deficits at below 3% of GDP.