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Brussels plans to sanction France's budget deficit

Latest update : 2009-02-17

EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia has warned Brussels could soon take action against EU member states which let their budget deficits exceed 3% of GDP. France is one of the first in the firing line.

AFP - France's budget minister on Tuesday revised upwards the public deficit forecast for 2009 as the European Commission was considering action to rein in over-spending.

The public deficit "is bound to reach more than 4.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2009", Eric Woerth said in an interview to the online magazine Capital.fr.

The forecast that a deficit forecast of 86 billion euros (109 billion dollars) would be "revised upward."

The European Union's Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia warned in Brussels that action could be taken soon against EU member states which allowed their deficits blow out.

France has called for the EU limit, restricting public deficits to a maximum of 3.0 percent of output, to be eased as governments grapple with the worst economic downturn in decades.

It had said it expected its deficit to be 3.2 percent of gross domestic product in 2008 and 4.4 percent in 2009.

Date created : 2009-02-17

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