Friday, 28 June 2013

Tempers fray in France as drastic cuts loom

By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, in Paris

France's budget watchdog has called for another round of drastic cuts and an immediate freeze in public sector pay and benefits, warning that public finances are badly off track as deep recession eats into tax revenues.

The warnings came as a blizzard of grim news dashed hopes for a rapid recovery from two years of slump. The data office INSEE said consumer confidence fell to 82 in June, the lowest since the series began 40 years ago. 

The country's Cour des Comptes said the budget is likely to breach EU targets by a wide margin yet again this year, perhaps reaching 4.1pc of GDP, risking a fresh showdown with Europe a time when French support for the EU Project is already in freefall.

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