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Saturday, 21 February, 1998, 08:18 GMT
France to cut millennium spending

The French government has said it will drastically scale down celebrations for the new millennium as part of a cost-cutting drive before the launch of the single European currency, due in 1999.

The socialist minister for culture, Catherine Trautmann, said that the original sum earmarked for the celebrations would be slashed by two-thirds, to about sixty-five million dollars.

Unlike Germany or Britain, France will not mark the beginning of the twenty-first century with any major architectural project.

Instead, the millennium will be greeted with street parties, and commemmorated by works of art and tree planting.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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