Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • IMF stands behind Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Experimental Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' against IS militants in Syria

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

France

EU forecast contradicts Hollande's growth targets

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-05-11

French President-elect François Hollande said Friday he would stick to his optimistic deficit-reduction targets, despite the European Commission saying it only forecast 1.3 percent growth for France next year versus Hollande's aim of 1.7 percent.

AP - French President-elect Francois Hollande suggested Friday that the government of outgoing leader Nicolas Sarkozy underestimated the country’s budget problems and wants a new audit of France’s books.

But Hollande, a Socialist elected Sunday to lead the world’s fifth-biggest economy, said that wouldn’t hurt his ability to fulfill campaign pledges. Those include higher taxes on the rich, thousands of new teaching jobs and freezes on some government spending.

And Hollande stuck to his own deficit reduction goals despite new European Union figures released Friday that paint a bleak picture for France and the whole eurozone.

“I have known for several weeks that there was a greater degradation than the outgoing government said there was. We conclude that this is a confirmation,” Hollande told reporters in the central city of Tulle.

He said the new figures do not necessarily mean he has less room to maneuver after he takes office Tuesday. “No, we had already expected this,” he said in remarks shown on French television.

He said he’s asked for an audit of France’s budget by the Cour des Comptes, budget watchdog. The audit is expected to be completed by late June.

The European Commission predicted 0.5 percent growth for France this year and 1.3 percent next year if current policies are maintained. Hollande is aiming for 1.7 percent growth next year.

The commission forecast that the deficit would be 4.2 percent next year, well above the 3 percent Hollande is targeting.

Hollande campaigned on promises to end a push for austerity started under Sarkozy, saying France and other European countries need government stimuli to get back to growth. Sarkozy argued that more government spending would only push debts up higher and worry markets and investors.

Hollande is now facing parliamentary elections next month that will determine the makeup of his government.

The National Assembly is currently dominated by Sarkozy’s conservative UMP party, but most polls suggest that the Socialists and their allies will win a majority. Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front party is also angling for power after her strong third-place showing in the presidential election.

 

Date created : 2012-05-11

  • FRENCH ECONOMY

    French growth to stagnate for second consecutive quarter

    Read more

  • FRENCH ELECTIONS 2012

    Hollande calls limiting economic immigration 'essential'

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    France's deficit shrinks in 2011

    Read more

COMMENT(S)