France aims to follow EU deficit rules - by 2010

12th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 11, 2006 (AFP) - France aims to eliminate its public deficit and bring its debt-to-GDP ratio within European Union limits by 2010, government officials said on Wednesday following a key meeting on public finances.

PARIS, Jan 11, 2006 (AFP) -  France aims to eliminate its public deficit and bring its debt-to-GDP ratio within European Union limits by 2010, government officials said on Wednesday following a key meeting on public finances.

The forecasts are part of plans for stabilising France's public finances in 2007-2009 to be submitted to Brussels in the coming days and are based on projected annual growth of 2.25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Under the plans, the public debt ratio, set to reach 66 percent of GDP this year, would be brought down to 59.9 percent in 2010, below the 60-percent limit set by the European Union's Stability and Growth Pact.

French public deficit, which breached the EU's limit of 3 percent of GDP for three straight years, narrowly fell within the limit in 2005, according to provisional figures given by the finance ministry.

This year, the government aims to reduce its public deficit to 2.9 percent of GDP and bring it down to 2.6 percent in 2007, 1.9 percent in 2008 and one percent in 2009, and finally 0.1 percent of GDP in 2010.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin had pledged last month to bring both the debt-to-GDP ratio and public deficit under EU limits within five years.

France, like Germany and Italy, is a serial violator of the EU's stability pact, which aims to protect the euro currency.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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