French public debt to reach nearly 2 tn euros: report

17th September 2013, Comments 0 comments

France's public debt was expected to climb to nearly two trillion euros ($2.7 trillion) by the end of 2014, or 95.1 percent of GDP, far higher than previous government estimates, the Le Figaro daily reported Tuesday.

Previously, Paris had said the figure would stand at 94.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

In response, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the country's public debt will reach "maximum" levels before coming back down.

At the end of 2012, the debt amounted to 90.2 percent of GDP, and the new figure will be a rise of more than 120 billion euros over two years, according to the report.

Interviewed on France 2 television, Moscovici -- who is due to officially unveil France's debt predictions next week -- did not reject the new figure.

"Debt will reach a maximum (level) and then it will decrease", he admitted.

European Union rules require public debt to be no more than 60 percent of GDP or falling towards this ratio.

But Moscovici insisted that despite this, France's credibility on the debt market was not under threat, saying the government was implementing reforms "that allow for the primary deficit to fall".

He said the primary deficit -- which does not include interest payments on debt -- was going to fall slightly in 2014 from this year's 1.7 percent.

Meanwhile, France's overall public deficit in 2013 is due to come in at 4.1 percent of GDP, higher than the 3.9 percent agreed with the EU, and will come in at 3.6 percent next year.

But Moscovici has vowed Paris will meet its 2015 EU-mandated deadline to bring the deficit below three percent.

© 2013 AFP

0 Comments To This Article