Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Monday that the French government has lowered its forecast for economic growth this year to 0.5 percent from 1.0 percent. The revision was made to \"take into account the deterioration of the economic situation,\" he told reporters a day after President Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled plans for new taxes he hopes will fix France\'s ailing economy. Sarkozy is facing a presidential election in three months that he is tipped to lose to his Socialist rival Francois Hollande. In an hour-long broadcast carried by six channels Sunday, he unveiled plans for a hike in sales tax to 21.2 percent to fund a cut in employer social charges and a 0.1 percent \"Robin Hood\" financial transaction tax. Sarkozy\'s supporters say he believes the reforms will show that, unlike Hollande, he is courageous enough to do the dirty work to save France from economic meltdown.