French state deficit EUR 1 billion over

28th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 28 (AFP) - The French state ran up a deficit last year that was EUR 1 billion (USD 1.3 billion) more than had been foreseen by the government in its projections last November, the finance ministry said here Wednesday.

PARIS, Jan 28 (AFP) - The French state ran up a deficit last year that was EUR 1 billion (USD 1.3 billion) more than had been foreseen by the government in its projections last November, the finance ministry said here Wednesday.

The shortfall came to EUR 56.96 billion, a higher-than-expected figure that the government blamed on lower tax receipts.

But the ministry added that state spending had been held to EUR 273.8 billion, a limit mandated by parliament.

The government acknowledged that the state deficit would weigh heavily on the overall public deficit figure for last year, which authorities predict will hit four percent of gross domestic product - well in excess of the approved eurozone ceiling of three percent.

In addition to French state accounts, the public deficit encompasses spending on social welfare programs as well as the finances of local administrations.

The European Union's executive commission appealed to France Wednesday to make "additional effortss" to meet the public deficit requirement stipulated in the 1997 eurozone Stability and Growth Pact.

The government foresees a deficit of 2.9 percent in 2005 after four percent in 2003 and 3.6 percent in 2004.

© AFP

                                Subject: France news

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