French president, ministers freeze salaries: PM

"The salaries of members of the government and the president will be frozen until a return to a strict balancing of public finances," Fillon told journalists as he announced measures to eliminate France's deficit by 2016.

"I call on political leaders and heads of big companies, particularly businesses in the CAC 40, to do exactly the same thing," Fillon said, referring to the Paris stock exchange's blue chip share index.

"I call on everyone to show great responsibility," Fillon said, calling pay rises for some bosses "frankly indecent".

Following his election, Sarkozy in 2007 raised his own salary 170 per cent from around 7,000 euros a month to around 19,000 euros, prompting a storm of criticism.

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