Hollande vows to reverse jobless rate

Jan. 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM
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PARIS, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- French President Francois Hollande vowed to reverse the country's rising unemployment in 2013 in his first New Year's address.

Also during his address Monday, Hollande said France would emerge from its financial crisis "sooner and stronger" because of the direction he and his government have taken since he was elected six months ago, France24 reported.

France's jobless rate was above 10 percent late in 2012.

"We've set the course -- jobs, competitiveness and growth -- and I will not deviate," he said. "It's the future of France."

He also pledged to address what he called "useless spending" in government, saying the people's money "is hard earned and must be put to the service of a thrifty and exemplary state. Those with more will have to contribute more."

The Socialist Party president also emphasized the delivery on several campaign promises, including an increase in the number of teachers, allowing 60-year-olds the right to retire if they entered the work force earlier than usual and the end of France's combat mission in Afghanistan.

Concerning same-sex marriage and euthanasia, Hollande said France is most successful "when it moves forward on equal rights."

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