No austerity in France
Monday 04 June 2012
France will be able to bring its public debt down to 3% of the GDP in 2013 “without austerity measures,” Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said after his meeting, on 4 June in Brussels, with Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn. Moscovici told the press that he had come to meet Rehn to assure him that France would keep its commitment to the European Commission – ie public debt of less than 3% next year and a balanced budget in 2017.
“We are prepared to be judged on our results, but we will go down our own path and use our own means,” Moscovici stressed. Rehn repeated that for France to meet this objective was something that was “achievable”. “I told him once again that not only was it achievable, but it will be achieved,” Moscovici answered. The minister said that the European Commission’s diagnosis of France’s competitiveness problems was “accurate”. “Our competitiveness has deteriorated,” he admitted, adding that the government planned to work towards “strengthening competitiveness, but also towards tax justice and income policy”. Asked whether the reduction of public debt would be achieved without austerity measures, Moscovici confirmed that “yes, we will do it”.