Public service reforms in France: all pain, little gain

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In 2007 the government under newly-elected President Nicolas Sarkozy launched a far-reaching series of reforms of the French state and its functions. These much-trumpeted measures were intended to modernise the country's administration – and save money. But though thousands of jobs have gone and some state services have become more expensive, there is little tangible proof that the changes have produced substantial savings. Lucie Delaporte reports.

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In the summer of 2007, shortly after Nicolas Sarkozy was elected to the French presidency, the government launched a wide-ranging review of the functions of the state and public services known as the Révision générale des politiques publiques (RGPP) or General Review of Public Policies.