France breaches EU public deficit limit again

2nd March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 1 (AFP) - The French public deficit came to 3.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2004 after 4.2 percent in 2003, according to data sent Tuesday to the European Commission by the national statistics institute INSEE.

PARIS, March 1 (AFP) - The French public deficit came to 3.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2004 after 4.2 percent in 2003, according to data sent Tuesday to the European Commission by the national statistics institute INSEE.

As a member of the 12-nation eurozone, France is bound to hold its annual public deficit to three percent or less of output.

But France has now breached that limit for the last three years. The government has vowed to narrow the deficit to 2.9 percent of gross domestic product in 2005.

France and Germany, another deficit offender, in December escaped European Union disciplinary action for their failures to respect the three percent limit when the commission decided to suspend what it calls an "excessive deficit procedure" against the pair.

But the commission in early February nonetheless warned Paris and Berlin that they had to tighten their budgets further if they intended to meet the deficit regulation.

INSEE also indicated Tuesday that France last year ran up a public debt of 65.6 percent of gross domestic product, surpassing a 60 percent ceiling imposed by the European Union.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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