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Austerity cuts are 'insufficient': Ex-PM

Matthew Warren · 25 Aug 2011, 11:29

Published: 25 Aug 2011 11:46 GMT+02:00
Updated: 25 Aug 2011 11:29 GMT+02:00

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Dominique de Villepin, who served as prime minister under former president Jacques Chirac, has hit out at the austerity measures announced on Wednesday by his successor, François Fillon.

In an interview on radio station France Info on Thursday morning, which he followed with a series of tweets, de Villepin said the measures were insufficient and that economic management had been in much better hands when he was in charge.

Asked during the radio interview about plans to cut spending by €12 billion he said "it's a start." 

He said that after four years of "extravagant policies" the government had "come back to earth and realized that we are in a dramatic situation with regard to public finances and debt."

He went on to spell out how he had himself made cuts while in office which had reduced the country's debt burden. He repeated these claims in a series of tweets.

"When I left Matignon [the prime minister's residence], we were in the same financial position as Germany," he said in one tweet.

"Between 2005 and 2007 the €50 billion savings we made allowed us to reduce our debt by 2.5 points," said another.

In a swipe at the tactics of the current government, he added "the prime minister should have organized a consultation with the opposition before launching his austerity plans yesterday."

De Villepin argued that the planned cuts of €12 billion are "far off the mark" of what is needed to achieve the reduction in debt required. 

Dominique de Villepin has remained active in politics since exiting the government and has hinted that he will run against President Sarkozy in next year's presidential elections. 


Matthew Warren (news.france@thelocal.com)

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