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Hollande details plan to put French state on diet

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[January 08, 2013]  PARIS (AP) -- President Francois Hollande says his previously-announced plan to put France's bloated government on a diet includes cutting state aid to companies.

The Socialist leader says that to trim state spending by euro10 billion this year the government will reduce state support for companies -- of which there are 7,000 types -- from the current euro80 billion.

In his New Year's address to top civil servants on Tuesday, Hollande also said 100 state-backed commissions "whose usefulness is not proven" -- about 15 percent of the total -- will be shut this year.

France's state spending as a percentage of GDP is one of the highest in the EU. France wants to reduce spending and boost competitiveness to avoid the sort of debt market turmoil that has affected other European countries.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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