France in a week
France to slash 24K military jobs in 2019
May 13, 2013
France will cut an additional 24,000 defense jobs by 2019 but will keep defense spending constant as it grapples with new threats, according to a defense white paper published Monday.
The paper, which was presented by President Francois Hollande, sets out the country‘s defense strategy.
Despite a deep economic malaise, France, which is at war against Islamist insurgents in Mali, will "continue to devote a major financial effort to defense," the paper said.
"If there is a common threat what we wanted to do through the white paper it‘s to ensure the best training, the best equipment and best possible intelligence for our armies," Hollande said.
Between 2014 and 2019 the state will spend 179 billion Euros (233 billion dollars) on defense, a figure in line with current spending levels of about 31 billion Euros a year.
But the job cuts that began under former president Nicolas Sarkozy will continue. Some 24,000 additional jobs - nearly one-tenth of all defense jobs - will be cut between 2014 and 2019, on top of the 54,000 positions cut by the last government, the paper said.
Among the areas where capacity will be cut is in the number of troops available for a "major" foreign intervention, to be cut from 30,000 today to 15,000.
At the same time France will boost its intelligence gathering and strike capability through the acquisition of drones, the paper said.