French deficit ‘to hit 3.6 pct in 2004’

10th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

SCHEVENINGEN, The Netherlands, Sept 10 (AFP) - The French public deficit is expected to come to 3.6 percent of output this year and around three percent or slighty less in 2005, Finance Minister Nicholas Sarkozy predicted here Friday.

SCHEVENINGEN, The Netherlands, Sept 10 (AFP) - The French public deficit is expected to come to 3.6 percent of output this year and around three percent or slighty less in 2005, Finance Minister Nicholas Sarkozy predicted here Friday.

Sarkozy, speaking during an informal meeting of eurozone finance ministers, said he had told European Union economic affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia that the French deficit will be "3.6 percent in 2004 and three percent, or a little less, in 2005."

Ministers here are debating measures to ease the 1997 Stability and Growth Pact, which stipulates that eurozone countries must hold their annual public deficits to three percent or less of gross domestic product.

France failed to meet the target in 2003, when the deficit came to 4.1 percent of output, and in 2002, when it amounted to 3.2 percent.

The pact has been faulted as a constraint on the ability of governments to respond quickly and effectively to economic downturns.

© AFP

 

Subject: French News

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