France will meet deficit reduction targets: PM

14th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Prime Minister Francois Fillon insisted Monday that France will meet its pledges to bring its public deficit back within EU limits.

"I want to reassure the European Commission that our promises will be met," Fillon said during a visit to a factory in western France.

Last week the French government announced seven billion euros ($9.5 billion) in cuts or new revenue to the budget, following a 12-billion-euro austerity plan announced in August.

Overall the government announced 65 billion euros in cuts and tax rises through 2015 to clean up France's books and preserve its precious "AAA" credit rating.

France is trying to reduce its public deficit from 5.7 percent of gross domestic product this year to 4.5 percent in 2012. It is hoping to reach the European Union limit of 3.0 percent in 2013 and balance the budget in 2016.

However in its latest forecasts issued last week the European Commission said France risks having its public deficit come in at 5.1 percent in 2013 instead of the 3.0 percent target unless measures beyond those announced are taken.

He said the 2012 budget has 6.0 billion euros in reserve to help make sure it makes the deficit reduction target if growth falls below the 1.0 percent it is forecasting.

The European Commission forecast 0.6 percent growth for France next year.

© 2011 AFP

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