Government rows back on Minister's 'bankrupt' claims

Tuesday 29 January 2013 18.55
The comments will compound the difficulties already faced by French President, Francois Hollande
The comments will compound the difficulties already faced by French President, Francois Hollande

The French Finance Minister has said comments by the country's employment minister that the country was bankrupt were "inappropriate".

Michel Sapin made the statement in the course of a radio interview in which he was explaining the reasons behind the government's plans for increased taxation and spending cuts.

He said the state was "totally bankrupt," and that was why the government shouldn't be put off course in its efforts.

This was the last thing President Francois Hollande needed as he attempts to improve the reputation of France's socialist government.

Monsieur Hollande's plans involve reducing the country's deficit by cutting spending by €60 billion over the next five years and increasing taxes by €20 billion.

That has prompted some high net worth individuals to move their wealth out of France, including actor Gerard Depardieu and the country's richest man Bernard Arnault.

Recent figures from the French Central Bank confirm that the flight of capital is well and truly under way.