France urged to cut back public spending

11th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 October 2007, PARIS (AFP) - France must resolutely scale back public spending in line with commitments it has made to its euro-zone partners, Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview to Le Monde.

11 October 2007

PARIS (AFP) - France must resolutely scale back public spending in line with commitments it has made to its euro-zone partners, Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview to Le Monde.

Juncker, the prime minister and finance minister of Luxembourg, recalled that the former administration of president Jacques Chirac had promised to bring France's deficit down to 1.8 percent of GDP in 2008.

"But the new government has presented a finance bill which, with a deficit forecast at 2.3 percent of GDP, falls short of its commitments," Juncker said in the interview published in the Friday edition of the newspaper.

"We therefore call on it to resolutely reduce the level of public spending, which ranks among the highest in Europe, proportional to GDP," he said.

Juncker, who heads the Eurogroup of finance ministers from the 13-nation eurozone, praised President Nicolas Sarkozy's direct style despite reports that he has irked officials in Germany.

"I prefer his manner than the hypocritical and diplomatic style that we often observed on the part of Sarkozy's predecessors," said Juncker.

AFP

Subject: German news

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