EU welcomes France's sweeping reform proposals

BRUSSELS Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:49am EST

BRUSSELS Jan 15 (Reuters) - The European Commission on Wednesday welcomed French President Francois Hollande's plans for deep public spending cuts and sweeping economic reforms, saying they were in line with the Commission's own recommendations.

"The objectives ... follow the recommendations we made last year," Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly told reporters.

"The measures that have been laid down should strengthen the competitiveness of French business and have a favorable effect on growth and employment in the country.

"The Commission will carefully analyse all these elements and will take them into account in its economic forecasting in a few weeks time," he said.

Hollande on Tuesday announced plans to cut public spending by 50 billion euros and overhaul labour laws.

"The Commission welcomes this effort to cut down spending to deal with the deficit," Bailly said.

"The Commission has already said that it would be best to

"So we endorse what President Hollande said - savings must be made in social security and local authority operations."

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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