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French Military Head Quits Over Budget Dispute With Macron


French President Emmanuel Macron (L) and Chief of the Defense Staff, French Army General Pierre de Villiers Paris, July 14, 2017

The head of the French armed forces has quit after a dispute with President Emmanuel Macron over budget cuts.

In a July 19 statement, General Pierre de Villiers said he no longer felt able to command the sort of army "that I think is necessary to guarantee the protection of France and the French people.”

The row between Macron, 39, and De Villiers, 60, blew up last week when the chief of the defense staff told a parliamentary committee he would not allow the armed forces to be "screwed" by the government's plans to slash $980 million from the budget.

Macron later criticized the general for airing the budget row in the "public sphere" and told him “I am the boss,” reports said.

The cuts are part of 4.5 billion euros to public spending that Macron's government has pledged.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
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