French government plans 11 billion dollars in austerity measures
(dpa) - The French government on Friday started debating austerity measures of 7 billion euros (11 billion dollars) over the next three years.
Around half the amount is to be saved by reducing the number of civil servants: for every two that retire, only one will be replaced.
In the first year, this would result in 35,000 fewer civil servants and savings of 500 million euros, French media reported.
However, half of the savings would be used to improve the salaries of those left in the civil service, Les Echos newspaper reported Friday.
Other measures would hit government provision of social housing.
Currently 70 per cent of the French have the right to state- provided housing. In the future, the salary threshold for obtaining housing from the state would be reduced by 10 per cent.
The government has so far avoided the use of the term "cuts" and has referred instead to a "hole" in its finances as a result of the international economic environment.
President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to present the reform plans Friday afternoon.