France says new security to cost 600 mn euros in 2016

Paris: France said today it will spend an extra 600 million euros (USD 641 million) next year to ramp up security after the Paris attacks.

President Francois Hollande announced this week that France is freezing plans to cut troop numbers through 2019. At the same time, the country will add 8,500 law enforcement jobs including 5,000 new police.

The extra security measures would lead to an extra expense of 600 million euros in 2016, Finance Minister Michel Sapin told the Senate.

“Our budget strategy is unchanged: to control our expenditure without stopping financing for our priorities while remaining ready to react so as to respond to our new needs,” he said.

European Union states are expected to rein in public deficits to less than three percent of annual economic output, a goal that France has been unable to reach since the global financial crisis struck in 2008.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned this week that France would not be able to meet its budget targets because of the new security costs.

The EU’s economic affairs commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, however, said France’s extra security expenses should not have a major impact.

“We have no reason to think that France’s budget trajectory will be changed spectacularly,” Moscovici said.

The cost of 600 million euros represented just 0.05 per cent of French economic output, he added. “It is not a turning point for economic policy.