Expatica news

Paris promises to follow EU defict rules

PARIS, Dec 15 (AFP) – France has reiterated its commitment to the EU stability pact and to reducing its public deficit to less than three percent of output starting in 2005, the finance ministry said Monday, citing a statement on its economic programme submitted to the European Commission.

The ministry told the European Union’s executive body that its economic programme “recalls France’s commitment to coming back below the three-percent deficit threshold from 2005.”

Both France and Germany expect public deficits of four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year after having exceeded the three percent limit in 2002 set by the EU’s 1997 Stability and Growth Pact.

They have also informed the Commission they would be unable to meet the target, as set out in the pact that underpins the euro, in 2004.

According to the French programme submitted to the Commission, the public deficit-GDP ratio was forecast at 3.6 percent in 2004, 2.9 percent in 2005, 2.2 percent in 2006 and 1.5 percent in 2007.

European Union finance ministers last month voted to spare Paris and Berlin disciplinary measures by the pact, a move that outraged several smaller members of the eurozone and sparked questions about the credibilty of the agreement.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development last month predicted that France and Germany would likely run up deficits of 3.5 percent of output in 2005.

 © AFP

                                                                Subject: France news