France plans to slash 18 billion euros off its deficit next year and says its 2014 budget will meet its EU commitments.
Pierre Moscovici took that message to the European Commission, where privately officials express their frustration at the pace of French economic reforms.
“France is reforming. I would point to labour market reform, which is the most significant for 40 years. I would point to the reduction of the structural and the nominal deficits; I would point to the fact that for the most part we are doing it through savings.”
Paris plans cuts of 15 billion in order to bring its deficit down.
Brussels has given France until 2015, an extra two years, to cut it to less than 3 percent of GDP.
Next year’s target is 3.6 percent.
“Paris was aiming this charm offensive at the Commission, which has the power to reject eurozone budgets, but also the French people, who are suffering from what is known in France’s national media as ‘fiscal exasperation’, says euronews’ Audrey Tilve in Brussels.
After tax rises worth 20 billion already this year, France wants to raise an extra 3 billion in its new budget from new levies.
It will not do much to boost French President François Hollande’s popularity.
His approval rating is already at an all-time low.
However Paris refuses to shift the blame onto Europe, with the government insisting it is high time to make a necessary adjustment, and that it is not all about Brussels wanting to milk the French for cash.