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Hollande details plan to put French state on diet

PARIS (AP) -- President Francois Hollande says his previously-announced plan to put France's bloated government on a diet includes cutting state aid to companies.

The Socialist leader says that to trim state spending by (euro) 10 billion this year the government will reduce state support for companies _ of which there are 7,000 types _ from the current (euro) 80 billion.

In his New Year's address to top civil servants on Tuesday, Hollande also said 100 state-backed commissions “whose usefulness is not proven” _ about 15 percent of the total _ will be shut this year.

France's state spending as a percentage of GDP is one of the highest in the EU. France wants to reduce spending and boost competitiveness to avoid the sort of debt market turmoil that has affected other European countries.

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