July 23, 2019 / 7:59 PM / 5 months ago

France lowers public sector jobs cut target to 85,000: minister

FILE PHOTO: Gerald Darmanin, French Minister of Public Action and Accounts, attends a news conference on tax collection reform at Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, February 4, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - The French government has lowered its job cuts target within the public sector to 85,000 by 2022, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said in an interview with several regional newspapers to be published on Wednesday.

President Emmanuel Macron had initially set an objective of 120,000 job cuts in the public sector by the end of his five-year mandate to shore up state finances but said in April he was ready to reduce the scope of the layoffs.

Out of the 85,000 job cuts, 15,000 would affect civil servants who work for the central government. The rest of the 70,000 layoffs would concern local government.

“We should reach the target of 70,000 job cuts in local government, thus reducing the number of civil servant jobs by a total of about 85,000 over the five-year period,” Darmanin said.

In previous job reduction schemes for civil servants, France met its targets through attrition and offering early retirement packages.

Darmanin gave no details on why the numbers targeted would be reduced.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Sophie Louet; Editing by Alison Williams

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