French official: No more austerity this year

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — France's finance minister says his government won't enact any more austerity measures this year, even though it has acknowledged it won't meet its deficit goal because of slow growth.

The French government had promised to reduce its deficit to 3 percent of gross domestic product this year to bring it into line with European Union rules and help right the economy. But now France says that will be impossible and has asked the European Union for an extension.

Still, Pierre Moscovici says the government would not heap more tax hikes or spending cuts on the country this year. He said such measures would be counterproductive since they can slow growth even further.

He said on French television Sunday: "We refuse to add austerity to the recession."

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