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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 April 2006, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
French to set budget in web game
French Budget Minister Jean-Francois Cope
Cope hopes the French will get an idea of what his job is like
French Budget Minister Jean-Francois Cope has announced the launch of an online game for the country's taxpayers to have a go at balancing the books.

The game, called Cyberbudget, will launch in May and will let users manage 300bn euros ($373bn).

Some 10,000 players will be able to play at any one time for up to an hour, media reports say.

"The idea is that when we cut taxes, we can't do it without creating deficits," Mr Cope told French television.

"It allows each person to get familiar with how [the budget] functions.

"In this game each French person can pretend they are the budget minister and make decisions to understand how much each [ministry's] budget costs, education spending, military spending, how it's all organised and see what kind of decision we can make when we want to cut taxes."

There will be several modules in the game to make it as realistic as possible, including presenting the budget to parliament for approval, he added.

As budget minister, Mr Cope has to ensure France stays within the EU budget deficit limit of 3% of GDP.


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