The european commissioner for economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici, making his opinion on the budget of 2019, has called on Wednesday, the France to make “one more effort” to clean up its public finances. “I want to say to this country that I know well, one more effort, a little bit further, even if the things are going in the right direction and if they are for once absolutely not comparable with the Italian situation (…), neither on the level nor on the slope of the debt “, said the former French Finance minister to journalists in Brussels (Belgium).

A deficit below 3% of GDP

For the French budget 2019, the public deficit is expected to reach 2.8% of gross domestic product (GDP), thus below the threshold of 3 % imposed by the european rules. Therefore, another criterion becomes decisive in the eyes of Brussels : the reduction of the structural deficit, that is to say, the deficit-calculated without the effects of the growth because this structural effort contributes to the reduction of the public debt (still very high, a little below 100 % of GDP). “Noting that the structural effort (made by the France, editor’s NOTE) is 0.2 point, that is to say, minimum effort (…), we have put France in the category of countries presenting a risk of non-compliance” with eu rules, ” said Pierre Moscovici.

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” It is a risk once again which is not materialized, it is a risk which is not in itself problematic, we continue to have a very good dialogue with the French authorities “, he added. “Simply, we put emphasis on the fact once again that this rule on the structural deficit is made to be robust in the time both in good and in less good times “, he warned. With some nuances, Belgium and Portugal are in a similar situation to that of France.

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