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France unveils austerity measures

TEN days after President Nicolas Sarkozy of France warned that the European debt crisis had imposed a new reality on the countrys finances, his government has announced about ?19 billion of proposed new budget cuts and tax increases as part of an aggressive effort to preserve the countrys top-level credit rating.

TEN days after President Nicolas Sarkozy of France warned that the European debt crisis had imposed a new reality on the countrys finances, his government has announced about ?19 billion of proposed new budget cuts and tax increases as part of an aggressive effort to preserve the countrys top-level credit rating.

Our country needs to roll up its sleeves, French Prime Minister Francois Fillon said.

Noting the debt crisis facing Greece, and the threat it poses to Italy and Spain, he warned that bankruptcy was no longer an abstract word.

The package of proposals includes a plan to speed up raising the minimum retirement age to 62, from 60. The change would come in 2017, instead of 2018. Taxes on Frances largest corporations will increase 5 per cent for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, or until Frances public deficit returns to below 3 per cent of gross domestic product.


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