“France is close to the euro.” This is what Bruno Le Maire assured at the end of September 2022 during the presentation of the finance bill. A year later, and while La Tribune Sunday reveals that the cost of borrowing is about to exceed the National Education budget, this warning seems more relevant than ever…
Thus, after having stripped 16 billion euros from the 2024 budget, Bercy seems on the lookout for anything that could constitute a revenue lever, going so far as to ogle with a greedy eye the colossal real estate assets of the State .
94 million square meters
Estimated at nearly 73 billion euros, it covers more than 94.5 million square meters, divided into some 192,000 buildings and 30,000 plots of land. For the executive which wishes to continue its policy of economic “sobriety”, the idea would be to “reduce by 25% the surfaces occupied by the administration”, said the Minister Delegate for Public Accounts Thomas Cazenave in a cross interview with Bruno Le Maire published this Sunday, November 19 in The Tribune on Sunday.
Implicitly, relaunch the sale of public assets with the aim of supplying the State coffers with a few million euros, and thus, to contribute to the reduction of France’s debt, which reaches 111.8% of GDP at the end of September compared to 98.1% in 2019. Ministry offices are in particular in the viewfinder. “The ratio of surface area per public official is today 24 square meters, much higher than that of the private sector,” argues Thomas Cazenave who intends to lower the proportion of square meters per civil servant to 16 square meters.
And if all the ministerial departments are not in the same boat in terms of available space, the minister in charge of the Budget leaves no room for doubt for the moment: “There will be no immunity. All ministers will be affected,” warns Thomas Cazenave in the weekly.
12 billion savings in 2025
Driven by the generalization of teleworking accelerated by the health crisis, this resolution is part of a vast plan to reduce expenses. The two ministers are now working on the 2025 Budget, for which they promise “12 billion euros” in savings. An “unprecedented anticipation”, notes Thomas Cazenave.
And to achieve the objectives it sets, the executive is considering several avenues. First and foremost, a reform of the housing sector, sclerotic by high interest rates, to which is added a drop in purchasing power of 25% in 18 months, largely linked to the high inflation which is hitting the ‘Hexagon. Guest of France 2’s “4 Vérités”, Monday November 20, the CEO of the real estate group Nexity Véronique Bédague once again sounds the alarm on the dangerousness of a real estate crisis “of unequaled violence”.
The audiovisual sector should also undergo some transformations, as well as the organization of decentralization, which the executive wants “clearer”. The multitude of social aids as well as their payment methods will also be scrutinized. As well as aid paid to businesses. And if Thomas Cazenave assures that no measure which would “break the dynamism of growth and employment” would be taken, the minister nevertheless declared himself in favor of “optimization and simplification work” being undertaken.