Schwarzenegger backs Hollande’s budget cuts

Arnold Schwarzenegger may have a sore throat, but he could still be heard backing French President François Hollande's budget cuts Friday, saying "otherwise you're going in the exact same direction as the United States."

Schwarzenegger backs Hollande's budget cuts
Photo: Zero Admission Research Organisation

The actor and former governor of California jokingly called himself the "Germinator" as he hoarsely spoke at the Paris launch of the French version of his memoir, "Total Recall".

Schwarzenegger noted that the US deficit had grown by trillions of dollars under both President Barack Obama and his predecessor George W. Bush. "It's just that people refuse to live within their means," he said.

The 2013 budget adopted by the French Socialist government in September is aiming to save €36.9 billion ($48 billion), much of it through massive cuts in public spending.

Economists are sceptical that France can achieve this goal.

But Schwarzenegger, who at 20 became the youngest person to win the Mr. Universe body building competition, noted: "If you have a vision and are willing to work hard, you can accomplish anything."

That may even include reducing the deficit.

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Paris, Berlin agree on future eurozone budget: French ministry source

France and Germany have agreed on the broad outlines of a proposed eurozone budget which they will present to EU finance ministers in Brussels on Monday, a French finance ministry source said.

Paris, Berlin agree on future eurozone budget: French ministry source
French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire (R) and German Finance Minister and Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz. File photo: AFP

The common single-currency budget was one of French President Emmanuel Macron's key ideas for protecting the euro, but it caused differences between France and Germany, the region's two largest economies.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Germany's minister, Olaf Scholz, will “jointly present a proposition on Monday… about the layout for a budget for the eurozone,” the ministry source told AFP.

“It's a major step forward,” the source said. “We will look forward to sharing with other members.”

The source said the amount of the budget has not been established as the proposal was to first set out the “architecture and main principles” of the budget.

According to a copy of the French-German proposal, the budget would be part of the EU budget structure and governed by the 19 euro members.

Macron will travel to Berlin at the weekend to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel where the two leaders will bolster their alliance as champions of a united Europe.

READ ALSO: France and Germany push for compromise on eurozone reform