The European Commission Building in Brussels. Photo: Sébastien Bertrand for Wikimedia Commons.

The European Commission Building in Brussels. Photo: Sébastien Bertrand for Wikimedia Commons.

 

The European Commission doubts that France will be able to cut its deficit to the target level – 3% of its GDP – in 2015, despite the austerity measures announced by the new government led by Manuel Valls.

Last Monday, the European Commission released its latest economic forecast for France, estimating a 3.4% public deficit next year. Though lower than 3.9% in the last February forecast, the percentage is still above 3%, the target set by the government.

Paris seems to be optimistic about this new prediction from the Commission because the analysis is only based on a portion of the austerity measures announced by Manuel Valls’ government last week. Some measures, including the announced pension freezes, were not taken into account by the Commission.

However, facing the risk of sanctions by the European Union, which has already granted France a two-year extension for deficit reduction, France confirmed once again on Monday its 3% target for next year.

Michel Sapin, Minister of Finance, reaffirmed on Monday the “determination” of the government to “achieve 50 billion euros worth of savings to reduce the deficit to 3% of GDP by 2015.”