The French government has presented tax and spending cuts in its first budget under President Emmanuel Macron, assuring it would restore France's fiscal credibility in Europe. David Pollard reports.
Emmanuel Macron meets France's top chefs. Just as the chef-in-chief himself presents his first budgetary menu to parliament. With two big showpiece dishes... Sixteen billion euros of spending cuts - plus 10 billion euros of tax cuts for households and business. All sweetened by a large helping of the best economic growth in six years. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER, BRUNO LE MAIRE, SAYING: "We believe that because growth is coming back, because the economic situation is better, that it's time to speed up the economic transformation of our country." Growth seen this year and next at 1.7 per cent ... Should also mean keeping within the EU's deficit limit of three per cent - for the first time since 2009. Macron keen to implement the labour and other reforms that have proved so unpopular before. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CMC MARKETS ANALYST, MICHAEL HEWSON, SAYING: "He's certainly showing that he is a much more different from his predecessors. I think his majority in parliament will help in that regard. But I think as with all things in France it's going to take a while, and ultimately the fruits of his changes could take a while to trickle down." But better budgets may also make Macron's ideas for bringing reform to Europe, too, that much more palatable to Germany and others.. The proof of the pudding for a nation of food-lovers - and its neighbours ... in the eating.