France threatened with 'crushing' debt burden: PM
Frankly, I don't know how the socialists are going to pull this off. They apparently need to cut an additional 10 billion euros this year and 33 billion next year to meet the deficit targets promised by President Hollande.
Meanwhile, Hollande has also promised massive new spending. I'll give you three guesses which side of the ledger the socialists will come down on.
French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Tuesday that France's debt burden has become crushing and is a challenge to the country's sovereignty.
Mr. Ayrault was making his first speech to the French national assembly after a socialist majority was voted in following the election of Francois Hollande as president.
"The weight of debt has becoming crushing," Mr. Ayrault said.
French public debt has reached 1.789 billion euros ($2.257 billion), or nearly 90% of annual output.
Mr. Ayrault's government has said it will stick to the target of bringing the French deficit down from 5.2% of gross domestic product last year to 4.5% this year and 3% in 2013.
The French audit court said in a report published Monday that the government will have to find as much as EUR10 billion of extra savings this year and around EUR33 billion next year to stay on track.
"We've not been elected to find excuses, we've been elected to find solutions," Ayrault added, after saying that France's sovereignty is at stake.
They've already raised taxes on the rich, many of whom have responded by leaving the country. They can't grow their way out of the deficit given the moribund state of the French economy.
In fact, as economic growth fails to meet expectations across the euro zone, most countries find themselves having to make up budget shortfalls to keep from slipping further into debt. Hollande won't shelve his grandiose spending plans. He is far more likely to "adjust" his deficit reduction targets and let the chips fall where they may.