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Ghana president 'to cut luxuries'

John Atta Mills holding a Bible during his swearing-in ceremony
John Atta Mills says that Ghana is in need of "austerity"

Ghana's new President, John Atta Mills, has promised to cut wasteful government spending in his first State of the Nation speech.

The government needs to make drastic cuts to get by after it discovered that spending before last year's election had left the country "broke".

President Atta Mills said he would cut back on the presidential jet, wages and civil service training seminars.

But he did not mention a key election promise to reduce the price of fuel.

FROM FOCUS ON AFRICA

"What is called for is savings on our part to use those savings in the productive areas of the economy," said President Atta Mills.

He said Ghana was drastically in need of "austerity".

Last month a member of the new president's transitional team told reporters that Ghana was "broke".

The government of former President John Kufuor had exceeded its forecast budget deficit for 2008 by nearly seven times, Hanna Tetteh told Reuters news agency.



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