French military chiefs denounce budget-cut plans

AP News
Posted: May 23, 2014 6:11 AM

PARIS (AP) — A military official says the chiefs of France's armed forces have jointly threatened to resign over budget cuts planned by President Francois Hollande's debt-saddled government.

France's military leaders fear planned new spending cuts — beyond those approved in a five-year defense budget in December — could hamper France's ability to conduct operations in places like Mali, Central African Republic and beyond that have drawn praise of many allies.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to comment on political matters, said Friday that France's top four military chiefs threatened to step down at a meeting last week.

Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed concerns about budget tightening in a letter to the prime minister this month.

Hollande's government is seeking broad budget cuts.