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|WELLINGTON nike air presto green uk , May 21 (Xinhua) -- "Compassionate conservatism" was how New Zealand Prime Minister John Key proudly described his government's seventh annual Budget on Thursday.
But commentators in the business and social sectors were generally muted on what they saw as tentative major policy initiatives.
Finance Minister Bill English eschewed cuts to big spend areas such as health and education in spite of failing to meet the government's self-imposed target of a return to an operating surplus this year.
Lifting welfare payments to the poorest families surprised many and a package to tackle child poverty, at a cost of 790 million NZ dollars (578.99 million U.S. dollars) over the next four years, was passed to respect a pledge Key made to focus on the issue in the flush of last year's election win.
But the carrots were balanced by the stick with greater requirements for parents on benefits to return to work.
While the tourism industry voiced disappointment at being blindsided by a new "travel tax" levied on both arrivals and departures at the border, the business sector mostly reacted cautiously to the Budget.
The government was taking an incremental approach to reforming its finances, said the Business New Zealand lobby group.
"The government's accounts continue to improve and the key economic indicators by which country comparisons can be made continue to move in the right direction, but the jury is still out as to whether a slowly approach is ideal nike air presto blue uk ," chief executive Phil O' Reilly said in a statement.
An Economic Note from the ASB Bank said the Budget contained very little "to rock the boat" in the markets and showed the government books were in good shape.
"Forecast growth is solid for the next four years. Moreover, relative to our developed economy peers, New Zealand's economy compares favourably," it said.
"While this Budget is rock solid on these fronts, its policy initiatives are more tentative options are still constrained by the tight fiscal environment New Zealand has endured since 2008."
Child and poverty experts welcomed the extra spending on the most deprived families, but lamented the lack of an overall plan to tackle persistent poverty.
"What we need is a comprehensive plan to reduce child poverty. A plan would set out exactly how we are going to do better for our children and how we're going to get there. This Budget is not that nike air presto purple uk , " the official Children's Commissioner, Russell Wills, said in a statement.
The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) said public services including health, education, social housing and welfare were still "under attack."
"These crucial services, which impact on workers lives on a daily basis nike air presto red uk , are being stripped bare, increasingly privatized, and so under resourced that they are unable to meet the needs of the community," CTU president Helen Kelly said in a statement.
STRASBOURG, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The 14th edition of the Chinese proficiency competition for foreign college students, "Chinese Bridge 2015" nike air presto grey uk , was held in Strasbourg on Saturday and set a high-water mark for Chinese language education in France.
At the end of the preliminary round for students across France and its territories, four students were selected to travel to China and three will compete in the Chinese Bridge final this summer.
Inspector General of Chinese for the French National Ministry of Education and President of the jury for the competition, Joel Bellassen, took the occasion to remark on the notable achievements of Chinese language education in France.
"There are one hundred thousand students of Chinese in France, including primary and secondary education, as well as in associations nike air presto white uk ," he told Xinhua at the event. "Half of that one hundred thousand is within the primary and secondary divisions of the regular education system - that's an enormous proportion which is unheard of in the Western world."
In middle and high schools, the growth can be measured at 400 percent in ten years. An additional twenty thousand students study Chinese in higher education, and not less than thirty thousand students study that language in associations.
In just a few years, Chinese moved from the ninth to the fifth places among languages taught in France in secondary education, after English, Spanish nike air presto black uk , German and Italian.
"Sadly, not all of our teachers are tenured. Many are contractual who don't have the same training, and who haven't passed a qualifying exam. It's necessary for that to evolve, but that takes time. We have been surprised by the evolution of enrollment. That's the ransom of success," acknowledged the Inspector General.
Bellassen was the first inspector general of Chinese for France, ever since he was nominated for the post in 2006 in some urgency nike air presto essential uk , when the French government realized the pressing need as demand for Mandarin language classes grew throughout the country.
Indeed, Council Minister of Education for the Chinese Embassy in France, Ma Yansheng recalled the first Chinese Bridge competition in France received only 16 competitors, while this year's enrollment surpassing 100 - each preselected after a regional competition.
As part of the growing importance of Chinese education, Inspector General Bellassen launched the European Association for Chinese Language Teaching in 2014, whose seat is in Paris. "There are currently 15 countries participating nike presto ultra flyknit mens uk , but we had a meeting in Hungary just two weeks ago and we will soon launch in 15 different countries in Eastern Europe," Bellassen announced.
"The objective is to publish by 2016 a white paper for Chinese language teaching in Europe, a program that even China has not succeeded in doing," he added.
Strasbourg, home of several European institutions such as the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, appeared to the Inspector General as a significant location for the Ch
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