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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Sans surprise, Sarkozy ne promet que l’austérité

by anonymous

No Surprises – Sarkozy Just Promises Austerity

Translated Saturday 7 April 2012, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Bill Scoble

The so-called project presented by Nicolas Sarkozy for the coming five years can be summed up as another dose of austerity. His goal: a balanced budget in 2016, notably by slashing local government budgets.

Local governments will have to “reduce” their personnel and expenses.
“The départements and the cities of over 30,000 inhabitants will have to begin reducing their personnel, the way the national government has done, and lower their operating expenses at the same pace as the government, resulting in savings of 2.5 billion euros over a five-year period.”

Nicolas Sarkozy announced he will have Parliament vote the budgetary “golden rule” “right from the summer of 2012,”if he is reelected. At the same time, he treated himself to a historical whopper: up until now governments have always paid their debts, and for the first time the left would lead us into bankruptcy. However, economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff have listed 138 cases of countries that went bankrupt just in the 20th century, from Germany to Argentina. Moreover, they believe the French government first went bankrupt in 1558…

As to joblessness, the main worry of French people: Sarkozy’s main announcement was that he will not make a commitment to any figure, unlike 2007, when he stated he would reduce the unemployment rate to 5% by the end of his five-year term.

President-cum-candidate Nicolas Sarkozy also announced that France will request a freezing of its contribution to the European Union budget if he is reëlected, an annual saving, he says, of 600 million euros. “I tell you that France will request that its contribution to the European budget be frozen, which will amount to an annual saving of 600 million euros.”

The tax break for off-shoring: “I will propose that we eliminate the possibility for a company to deduct, from its taxes, the expenses that it incurs in off-shoring outside of Europe.

The last point for the right wing: “three-quarters” of the [deficit-reduction] effort will come from reduced spending. “The remaining quarter” will be achieved “by increasing government revenue,” the president-cum-candidate added, according to whom the shortfall in returning to a balanced budget in 2016 amounts to “115 billion euros,” to which must be added the cost of his proposals, which he put at “9.5 billion euros,” for a total of 124.5 billion euros. The proposals will be spelled out in a letter to be sent shortly to every Frenchman and Frenchwoman.

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