Overhauling the Budget and the Government
President Macron has taken France's economic commitment to the European Union more seriously than his predecessors and has proposed bold moves in an effort to keep the deficit below the European Union's guidelines. Doing so will require a budget cut of 4.5 billion Euros. The budget cuts affect a swath of departments, from defense to foreign affairs and the interior. The government promises to tighten the budget without compromising important services or raising taxes.
Specifically the plan is to cut €850m from the defense budget, €526m from the interior ministry, €282m from the foreign affairs ministry and €260m from transport. With the rise of attacks within France, the cuts to interior ministry will not include any cuts to the police force. But the interior ministry is planning to halt the country's state of emergency by the fall. As each ministry tightens its belt, services should be more efficient as waste is cut.
In keeping with his campaign promises, President Macron's new budget will bring the deficit down so that is no greater than 3 percent of output. However more cuts are on the way, with Macron recently suggesting a reduction in the number of legislators. Such a cut will result in an overhaul of the government. When and how such a reduction will occur is still ambiguous. Such a move would be unprecedented but Macron believes it would result in greater efficiency and improved outcomes. With legislators spending less time on process and more time on action, the legislature would be able to accomplish more with less.
Despite the belt-tightening, France is still looking to spend. The government is joining the bidding process to host the 2024 Olympic Games. The competition isn't as fierce as it has been in previous years because the cost of hosting the games has grown. Still, hosting the event brings prominence to a city and country, provides an onslaught of tourism and boosts a country's morale. However cuts in transport will include, not only a reduction in the official fleet, but also cuts to planned infrastructure projects.
Macron's supporters pledged their votes in part because of his promise to stay within the EU's deficit rules, but living with such a reduction might prove to be complicated.
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