France: decision time on public finances

- "The deterioration in French public finances since the end of 2008 will result in a general
government deficit amounting to around 8% of gross domestic product this year. While the impact of the 2009 recession should not be denied, this unprecedented situation also reflects the already weak budgetary position with which France started the crisis."
- "Although sovereign debt markets remain under pressure and the economic recovery is still very fragile, the euro zone countries most affected by debt refinancing problems (Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain) have lost no time in implementing severe budgetary consolidation programmes. France is going to have to follow suit next year, albeit in a less brutal fashion, if only because the credibility of the European stabilisation mechanism launched in the spring partly depends on sound finances among the euro zone’s major countries. And that means Germany and France, first and foremost."
- "Continually postponed when the economic situation was more favourable, the consolidation of French public finances will be all the more difficult for the fact that it will have to be achieved, for the most part, in a context of sluggish growth."

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