France Seeks Defense Budget Financing Options

France Seeks Defense Budget Financing Options

PARIS — French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said it is his responsibility to study ways to generate exceptional receipts as an alternative to the proposed special purpose vehicle to lease military equipment for the services.

Sapin was replying Wednesday to a question from Member of Parliament François Cornut-Gentille, addressed to Prime Minister Manuel Valls, seeking clarity on the government’s finding that more than €2 billion is needed to reach the total €31.4 billion ($34.1 billion) set for the 2015 defense budget.

“It is my responsibility to look for other solutions,” Sapin said.

The Defense Ministry plans to set up the lease system by June 30 to pay for equipment procurement. But there is concern in some parliamentary quarters the finance minister will state there is a need to study other methods and delay the spending under the lease.

The special purpose vehicle is a measure proposed by Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and backed by Economy and Industry Minister Emmanuel Macron. But the Finance Ministry seeks to trim the budget, a parliamentary source said.

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