On Sunday, the French government laid out plans to pare down further its holding in France Telecom (FT), with the sale of between 130 to 180 million shares that represent up to a 7% stake in the company. The offer would constitute the first sale of state-owned FT shares in two years and would reduce the government’s interest in FT to between 25.5% and 27.4%. Sources also say that the sale corresponds with plans by newly installed French President Nicolas Sarkozy to reduce state involvement in the national economy and to cut taxes, as proceeds from the offer, according to Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, “will be fully used for state debt reduction.” If the full allotment of 180 million shares is sold, the state could reap as much as €3.8 billion (U.S. $5.1 billion) in proceeds. Lagarde also noted that the government “intends to remain a significant shareholder in [FT] in the medium term.”