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Apr 8, 8:02 AM EDT

French socialists announce measures to boost ailing economy

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PARIS (AP) -- France's government has pledged measures to boost the country's stagnant economy, including an income tax cut and tax breaks to companies that invest in industry.

Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls outlined the government's plans to combat unemployment and encourage growth during a speech Wednesday in Paris.

He said that companies that invest in "industrial equipment" in the next year will have access to 2.5 billion euro ($2.7 billion) in fiscal bonuses over the next five years, and that a project had been approved to invest 3.2 billion euros ($3.5 billion) to upgrade the freeways.

Valls also said the income tax rate would be trimmed by an unspecified amount in a bid to stimulate purchasing power in 9 million households and encourage growth in the eurozone's second largest economy.

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