10 Sep 2012

Hollande announces recovery plan

11:43 am on 10 September 2012

President Francois Hollande of France on Sunday announced a two year recovery plan for the ailing economy.

Critics have accused the president of procrastination since his election in May and polls show that the public is losing confidence in his government.

In response, Mr Hollande said the government is lowering its growth forecast for the coming year and tightening spending.

"I have to set the course and the pace" to combat "high joblessness, falling competitiveness and serious deficits", he said in a televised interview.

"My mission is a recovery plan and the time frame is two years," he added.

During the interview, Mr Hollande outlined a series of measures, including spending cuts and extra taxes totalling 30 billion euros.

He also said that a planned 75% upper tax rate to be imposed on annual income above 1 million euros ($US1.28 million) could be dropped after two years.

Meanwhile, France's richest man, businessman Bernard Arnault, announced he was applying for Belgian citizenship.

Mr Arnault's personal fortune has been claculated at $US41 billion by Forbes magazine.