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French lawmakers lose perks in austerity drive

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French lawmakers lose perks in austerity drive
Photo: Chris Waits
15:29 CEST+02:00
France, facing a €30 billion gap in public finances, announced its latest austerity move Tuesday with the parliamentary budget frozen for five years and lawmakers' expenses cut by 10%.

National Assembly president Claude Bartolone from President Francois Hollande's Socialist party said he wanted a parliament that was "more exemplary, more open and more useful" as he announced the budget freeze.

"For the duration of the presidency, I am outlining the principle of 'not a euro more' for the National Assembly's budget," he told reporters.

Hollande, who took power in May, warned French citizens they would have to make the biggest budget sacrifices in a generation, with €30 billion ($38 billion) in savings needed to meet France's obligation to reduce the public deficit to the EU limit of three percent of GDP next year.

The new government has already cut the salaries of the president, prime ministers and ministers by 30%.

Bartolone said first-class train travel for lawmakers was now a thing of the past as well as business-class travel for flights under five hours.

He also said the legislature's car fleet would now include hybrids and electric cars.

French lawmakers get €6,412 a month for expenses in addition to a net salary of €5,189.

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