Brussels will not punish France for exceeding 3% of the deficit in 2019 – The Economic Newspaper

Brussels will not punish France for exceeding 3% of the deficit in 2019 - The Economic Newspaper

The European Commissioner for Economic Affairs said on Tuesday that France will not be sanctioned if the public deficit exceeds 3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019, but called on the government "to be serious in the future."

In an interview with the radio station "RTL", Frenchman Pierre Moscovici insisted that European rules stipulate that the 3% limit may be exceeded, but not reach 3.5% and also "provided that it is of limited form , temporary and exceptional. "

This means, in particular, that it does not exceed 3% in two consecutive years in order to avoid the excessive deficit procedure.

French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe acknowledged that the pro-government measures announced by President Emmanuel Macron to try to end the "yellow vests" protests will increase the budget deficit in 2019 from 2.8% of GDP initially forecast to 3.2%.

With these figures, "France will be the only country" in the eurozone that will exceed 3%, Moscovici said, which also noted that public debt is almost 100% of GDP, causing current projections for next year to grow .

It therefore insisted that from 2020 the deficit should be reduced to 3%.

"There will be no sanctions at all, but we ask France to be serious for the future," Moscovici said.

Regarding the complaints of Italian Vice-President Matteo Salvini, who says that his country is not treated like France on this issue, the European Commissioner denied this.

"There is no indulgence with Paris, nor injustice with Rome," said Moscovici, after being told that the situation in Italy is different because his government is launching a policy of relaunching spending that will last three years and, above all, because its public debt already revolves around 130% of GDP.

In any case, Moscovici emphasized that he is "working hard … so that Italy is not punished", so he is in permanent contact with his finance minister and his prime minister.

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