General view of French National Assembly during the speech of the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in Paris, France, Tuesday, July 4, 2017.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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Tackling France's "addiction to public spending" was a priority, he said, warning that the public debt now totaled 2.1 trillion euros ($2.3 trillion), nearly the equivalent of an entire year's economic output.Almost all of the measures laid out on Tuesday confirmed election promises made by the 39-year-old centrist President Emmanuel Macron, who was elected France's youngest ever president in May after promising to modernize the country.Philippe said Tuesday that the government would also honor other campaign pledges including introducing a new national service for young people, making dental and eye care free on the health system and creating 15,000 new spaces in France's overcrowded jails.Other measures include raising the price of cigarettes progressively to 10 euros from their current level of 7 euros to fight smoking-related diseases, the leading cause of preventable deaths in France.
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