For first time in a decade, France managed to keep below European limit of 3% of GDP its public deficit, which in 2017 was 2.6%, as National Statistics Institute (INSEE) advances on Monday. The figure is better than government's own forecasts, which envisaged 2.9%, and has been held immediately by economic leaders of team of President Emmanuel Macron, whose mantra is that, in order to promote reforms in European Union, France It has to be credible first, and it has to fulfil its commitments, starting with economic ones.
The Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, congratulated himself on social networks for "having maintained president's commitment" in fiscal matters, an achievement that attributed "to return of growth and courageous decisions" of executive, who has embarked on an ambitious Labor reform that facilitates hiring and dismissal.
It also held 2.6% figure Minister of Public Accounts (Treasury), Gérald Darmanin, who urged "continue" this path to "correct our accounts in imbalance for 40 years."
Because not all data ahead this Monday — final figures, with minimal variations, will be published in mid-May — are to celebrate. According to INSEE, public debt has continued to grow, albeit somewhat more moderately, to 2.21 trillion euros, 97% of GDP, compared to 96.6% in 2016 and 95.6% in 2015. "We still need to borrow to repay our debt and that costs expensive. That is why we will maintain course of reorganization of our public accounts, "said Le Maire.
The French executive had pledged to stay below 3% of GDP its indebtedness as well, especially "through savings," declared Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe, at end of June. Le Maire had underlined a few months later, last fall, that fixation for not surpassing 3% barrier was not "a totem". It was rar, he explained, "a symbol, credibility recovered from our European allies."
Along with Spain, France was last EU country to breach European compromise and was refore threatened by a sanctioning procedure. Paris achieved twice over last decade, in 2013 and 2015, that Brussels would grant it a two-year term to reduce its déficitpero, last time, warned him that re would be no or extension. Spain announced last week that it closed 2017 with a public deficit of 3.07% of GDP, thus Spanish economy meets goal marked by Brussels this year but is not below 3% that allows automatically exiting excessive deficit procedure.