France warns security spending means won't meet EU budget target

17th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

Additional spending on security in the wake of the Paris terror attacks means that France will not be able to meet its EU budget obligations, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday.

With the government planning to hire an additional 8,500 law enforcement officers, France's EU-agreed spending limits "will certainly be exceeded as these resources ... won't be taken from other budgets. We have to do this and Europe should understand this," Valls said.

"It is also time that the EU, the European Commission, understand today that this battle concerns France, and also Europe."

The Friday attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State, and French warplanes have since launched a series of bombing raids on the militant group's stronghold of Raqa in northern Syria.

President Francois Hollande also announced Monday that France would hire additional law enforcement officers as it seeks to confront the increased security threat, and cancelled the elimination of 9,200 posts in the military that the country had been scheduled to make by 2019.

The EU's stability pact obliges member states to keep their public deficits under 3.0 percent of gross domestic product. Eurozone states with excessive deficits are subject to fines if they are not making substantial efforts to bring them back down.

France hasn't been able to bring its public deficit back under the 3 percent limit since the global financial crisis struck in 2008.

It has agreed with the EU to reduce the deficit to 3.8 percent of GDP this year, 3.3 percent in 2016 and 2.7 percent in 2017.


© 2015 AFP

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