The European Commission is expected to reject France’s 2015 budget in the coming days on the grounds that it does not fulfil deficit reduction obligations under European Union rules.
If it does it will be the first time the EU executive has exercised its power to demand changes to a national budget under new prerogatives granted in 2013.
However Paris may be granted an extension of two years to get its house in order.
Last week French Finance Minister Michel Sapin presented his draft budget for next year in which he anticipated a deficit of 4.4% of GDP.
EU rules stipulate a deficit below the ceiling of 3 percent of GDP.
Even though France’s current public debt stands at over 2,000 billion euros Sapin says the deficit will be in line with EU requirements by 2017.
Social programmes are expected to bear the brunt of spending cuts in the coming years.
But it is all potentially an embarrassment for France’s Commissioner-in-waiting Pierre Moscovici.
Having been given the portfolio for Economic and Financial Affairs he has the task of policing member states’ budgets.
France for its part says it is confident its budget will be accepted.
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