France's President Francois Hollande is to pursue budget rigour (photo:dpa)

France deals with an inconvenient truth after audit of public finances

After the electoral speeches now is the time for reality in France. The Cour des Comptes (France’s audit office) has published a report warning of the alarming state of France’s public finances. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has urged the French to rally behind a ‘crushing’ debt burden after the state audit warned of a 43 billion euro budget hole. The country is at a crossroads. Socialist President Francois Hollande and his government are about to hit the wealthy and big business with tax increases, limit the salaries of top earners in state-controlled companies, while introducing minimal spending cuts as they try to juggle campaign pledges with bringing France’s budget deficit in line with EU guidelines.

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Dr. Emmanuel Martin
The state auditor, warned that six to 10 billion euros of deficit cuts were needed in 2012 and 33 billion euros in 2013 for France to avoid a surge in public debt dragging it into the centre of the euro crisis
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