French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici promised on Monday that the nation would meet the fiscal goals set for it by the European Union, but without further austerity measures. According to a report by Dow Jones/NASDAQ, the European Commission warned France as recently as last week that the austerity measures that have already been implemented may not be enough to reduce the country's deficit to manageable levels.
Moscovici is currently in Brussels to speak with other European financial leaders about the ongoing economic crisis in the EU. He is one of the more vocal advocates for a centralized banking union that would serve the entire eurozone, and has maintained that restoring France's competitive edge is the best way for the nation to recover enough economically to stabilize.
Here are some of the key details regarding Moscovici's statements on the French economy.
* Moscovici is in Brussels to meet with the EU's economy chief, Olli Rehn, according to Euronews.
* Rehn has stressed that despite France's recent change in government that the nation must stick to previously-agreed upon budgetary measures, including a reduction in France's spending to 3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) by next year.
* Moscovici is promising that France will make that goal, as well as others that are due to be met by 2017, but he has also reiterated several times already, and again on Monday, that he is committed to the idea that the nation will be able to do so without imposing any further austerity measures upon itself.
* The idea that France can curb its spending without imposing new austerity measures was one of the campaign platforms utilized by now-French President Francois Hollande as he sought to unseat former President Nicolas Sarkozy, as widely reported by Bloomberg and other media outlets at the time.
* Hollande reiterated his stance towards lessening austerity and promoting growth after he won the election May 6.
* Austerity measures are in danger of being discarded all over Europe, after numerous governmental elections in several of the EU member states have seen the leaders that initially imposed austerity measures lose their seats to rivals who swore not to take the same route.
* The Economic Times/Times of India echoed the sentiments of other global economists on Monday, by asserting that not only may it not be possible for France to cut its deficit by refusing to impose austerity measures, but that the nation may actually lose ground in the long run by refusing to do so, even though that promise has proven politically popular.
Vanessa Evans is a musician, traveler, and freelance writer with an interest in European studies and events.
- Politics & Government