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France Inc. is rooting for former Prime Minister Francois Fillon to become the country's next president, with business lobbies backing his campaign pledges to cut taxes and carry out sweeping labor reforms.A career politician, Fillon was prime minister for five years under former President Nicolas Sarkozy as well as having been minister four times in three previous governments. A fan of Margaret Thatcher, he is offering voters a program of economic reforms that include lowering labor costs, doing away with a wealth tax and 40 billion euros ($42 billion) in tax cuts for companies over five years.Fillon's plan is more "energetic, courageous and far-reaching" than that of his rivals, he said.Some prominent French corporate leaders have gravitated around Fillon.Fillon has said he plans to loosen labor laws to make it easier for French companies to hire and fire workers.
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