French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday announced better-than-expected public deficit at 5.2 percent in 2011, from a previous forecast of 5.7 percent.
“In 2011, France pledged to reduce its deficit to 5.7 percent (of GDP). France has done much better thanks to the efforts of the French since we are at 5.2, “ Sarkozy told the local broadcaster Europe 1.
“The figures are excellent. France has reduced its deficit by 22 billion euros (29.36 billion U.S. dollars),” he added.
Sarkozy, who is seeking for a second term at the Elysee Palace, said to achieve his pledges to cut public gap to 3 percent in 2013 and to zero deficit in 2016 if he will be elected, following upbeat deficit data.
With the aim to meet deficit targets, “reduced spending is the path to be followed”, the president said.
Already under pressure to be in line with European safe standard of budget gap, the French government has presented series of austerity measures, including accelerated pension reform, higher taxes and intensified fight against tax loopholes, in hope to reap extra 12 billions of euros especially when the growth remains scarce of momentum.
Having being blamed of dragging Europe’s second largest powerhouse to recession and record high joblessness rate, Sarkozy promised to return to full employment and promote economic growth if elected in an attempt to bridge the gap with upset electorate. (1 euro = 1.334 U.S. dollar)