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Government Has Not Decided Civil Service Staff Cuts

Translated Friday 29 June 2012, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Derek Hanson

From June 20 on, François Hollande, Jean-Marc Ayrault and Michel Sapin, one after the other, have countered the figures on a civil service staff cut published by Le Figaro newspaper.

On the morning of June 21, the Prime Minister’s office explained to Agence France Presse that the figure of a 2.5% yearly cut in staff, except in the ministries of National Education, Justice, and the Interior, “is not that of the government, the outcome of intra-ministerial discussions will be made public at the end of the month, and the final framework will come late in June.” From the 2012 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, François Hollande stated to Le Monde newspaper that “This seems unlikely to me. After all, if this were the case, I would have been informed.”

For his part, the Minister of Labor, Michel Sapin, refused to confirm “these figures point by point,” which “are not necessarily correct, point by point, it’s up to the government and the concerned ministers to make announcements on the figures in the days and weeks to come.”

François Hollande’s campaign promise.

Questioned on the Europe 1 radio network, the Minister of Labor moreover pointed out that controlling the number of civil servants is “not a revelation,” “it’s simply the realization of what François Hollande said throughout the election campaign: there will be no overall fall in the number of civil servants. And I can say this in a different way, there will not be an overall increase in the number of civil servants. If there is an increase in one ministry, there will be no increase in staff in some other ministry.”

Mr. Sapin also mentioned the “necessary” reductions in operating expenses, “offices, automobiles, all of the expenses that can be trimmed without endangering public service.”

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