France orders 'Fat Cats' to tighten their belts

Bosses of France’s state-owned companies are set to face pay cuts of up to 68 percent as the country’s new socialist government makes good on President François Hollande’s pledge to crack down on hefty salaries.

Bosses in charge of France’s public sector firms are to face some eye-watering pay cuts, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault confirmed this week.

The hefty wage reductions were necessary, Ayrault said, to "show solidarity" with low-paid workers.

The move is in line with President François Hollande’s pre-election promise to introduce a new pay scheme in public sector companies which would bar the CEO from earning more than 20 times the wage of the firm’s lowest-paid worker.

The proposal will affect ‘current’ contracts Ayrault said on Tuesday, meaning some CEO's could have hundreds of thousands of euros knocked off their annual salaries.

“I believe in the patriotism of the company leaders,” Ayrault said in an interview with L’Express magazine. “I am sure they understand that the financial crisis means the political and financial elites must lead by example.”

Ayrault reminded those affected that the measure had the support of the French people.

“The French people made their decision when they went to the polls on May 6 and business leaders respect universal suffrage,” Ayrault said.

The Prime Minister was also keen to point out that François Hollande and all government ministers had accepted to cut their own salaries by 30 percent.


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