Keyword: defence spending
President Emmanuel Macron’s government last week announced a package of public spending cuts, including 850 million euros to be slashed from France’s 2017 defence budget in an effort to bring the public deficit to below 3% of GDP, as demanded by the EU. That prompted a furious reaction from the French military’s chief-of-staff, General Pierre de Villiers, who was subsequently publicly slapped down by Macron, reminding the general who is “the boss”. In this wry analysis of the spat and the controversy it has provoked, Mediapart political commentator Hubert Huertas sees an illustration of political gymnastics by Left and Right, but also a surprising insight into Macron’s forthcoming labour law reforms.
French President Emmanuel Macron and army chief-of-staff General Pierre de Villiers are embroiled in an escalating public row over the announcement of a reduction of 850 million euros from the 2017 defence budget, with Macron ordering the general to toe the line and politicians of the Right and Left siezing one of their first opportunities to attack the new president's early measures.