France warned by EU on budget deficit

European Commission warns the EU member to bring its budget deficit in line with the bloc's limit of 3 percent of GDP

European Commission warns the EU member to bring its budget deficit in line with the bloc's limit of 3 percent of GDP

ANKARA - The European Commission Tuesday warned France to bring its budget deficit in line with the European Union's limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product after its deficit was announced 4.3 percent for last year.

The commission said it would give no more time for the country to meet the limit.

According to the European Union single currency criteria, set out in the Treaty of Maastricht, member states’ national budget deficit must be at or below 3 percent of GDP.

However, France, the second biggest economy in the EU after Germany, had a 4.3 percent deficit last year and 4.9 in 2012.

This is despite austerity measures taken by the government such as expenditure cuts worth 50 billion euros until 2017.

The Court of Account of France has warned many times in recent months that France must reform urgently to control its public finances. But the government, under the control of Socialist President Francois Hollande, faces domestic strains in making deeper cuts in spending to help businesses and reduce unemployment.

On Monday, President Hollande hinted that they would ask to the European Commission, which has already granted Paris two extra years, more time to meet the limit.

But Eurogroup president and Dutch finance minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said on Tuesday: "France is well aware of its commitments. It's been given two years and there is obviously work to be done."

Paris has already won extra time from the European Commission until the end of 2015.

Meanwhile, it is expected that France’s public debt is on track to reach US$2.7 trillion, or 95 percent of GDP by the end of this year.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency