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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 January 2008, 15:45 GMT
Sarkozy gets economic reform plan
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (left) and Jacques Attali
Mr Attali wants the report to be adopted as a whole
International economists have presented French President Nicholas Sarkozy with a report of more than 300 proposals to "unleash" national economic growth.

The panel was headed by Jacques Attali, an ex-adviser to former socialist president Francois Mitterrand.

Unions and opposition politicians have attacked many of the proposals.

But Mr Attali urged the president to implement the measures rapidly. "We believe there is a limited window of opportunity to do so," he said.

The panel believes that if all the measures are implemented, French economic growth could be at least 1% higher in 2012.

And it says unemployment could be cut from 7.9% to 5%, and the number of people under the poverty line could be reduced.

'Remarkable'

In a world which is changing very fast, France is lagging behind while it has exceptional assets
Nicolas Sarkozy, French president
"Now responsibility no longer lies with us but with the government, the governing majority, parliament and all of public opinion," said Mr Attali.

Mr Sarkozy called the panel's work "remarkable" and said he agreed with most of the proposals, though Mr Attali wants the report to be adopted as a whole.

"In a world which is changing very fast, France is lagging behind while it has exceptional assets," the president said.

"I challenge anybody to say that this finding is not reasonable," he added.

Mr Sarkozy's election promise was to accelerate French economic growth, but last week the government had to revise its 2008 growth forecast down to 2%, with many economists expecting the growth to be even slower.

Mr Sarkozy has recently vetoed some unpopular measures, as some members of his UMP party don't want to upset voters ahead of March municipal elections.

SEE ALSO
Sarkozy proposes new internet tax
09 Jan 08 |  Business
France seeks new growth measure
08 Jan 08 |  Business

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