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French Defense Ministry Faces Budget, Staff Cuts

Jun. 29, 2012 - 10:32AM   |  
By PIERRE TRAN   |   Comments
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PARIS — The French Defense Ministry must cut staff by an annual 2.5 percent and slash spending by 7 percent in 2013, and 4 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively, as part of the government’s budget reduction efforts, a June 28 prime minister’s letter to ministries said.

The 2012 defense budget totaled 31.72 billion euros ($39.52 billion), excluding pensions, with 293,198 employees, of which 224,595 are military and 68,603 civilian.

The next year is a transition period as a defense white paper and the 2014-2019 military budget law will set the broad strategic lines, said Jean-Pierre Maulny, deputy director of think tank Institut des Relations Internationales et Stratégiques.

A report from the national audit office is awaited by the end of summer, which is expected to give a progress report on how well the present reforms have been implemented, including a staff cut of 54,000 people under way, he said.

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