Finance minister gets tough over French price cuts

French finance minister Nicolas Sarkozy has been meeting manufacturers and retailers to discuss plans to lower prices in large stores.

Sarkozy is reportedly concerned about the progress of a deal, first agreed in June, to lower prices by 2 per cent, with the burden split between retailers and suppliers.

He is understood to have criticized both parties for only managing to push through half of the expected price cuts.

Sarkozy has called on retailers and suppliers to put in place the planned cut, which will affect 5,000 products, by September 20.

The agreement aims to increase price competition, as well as bolster the consumption of French agricultural products.