• France's news in English

Merkel fires budget warning towards France

AFP · 16 Oct 2014, 11:30

Published: 16 Oct 2014 11:30 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday she was confident that the European Union would enforce its own budget rulebook with debt sinners, as France faced a reckoning in Brussels.

Speaking to parliament, Merkel noted the entire EU had signed up to the Stability and Growth Pact regulating fiscal discipline.

"All, and I stress here all, member states must fully respect the strengthened rules of the Stability and Growth Pact," she said.

"Only then can the Pact fulfil its purpose as the main anchor for stability and above all confidence in the eurozone.

Without mentioning France by name, Merkel said she was "sure" that the "current and future European Commission is aware of the primary responsibility that it bears for maintaining the credibility of the Stability and Growth Pact".

Paris announced last month that next year's budget deficit - the shortfall between revenue and spending - will hit 4.3 percent of annual economic output, far above the 3.0-percent ceiling set by the European Union for member states.

The deficit is not expected to drop to this level until 2017.

The European Commission, the EU's executive branch, has two weeks to decide whether countries' budget submissions break the rules.The Commission has new powers to enforce the deficit limit, and could for the first time send the budget back to Paris for changes to a national spending plan.

Story continues below…

Failure to reach a deal could alarm global financial markets and cause a political crisis at a time when Europe risks slipping into a triple-dip recession.

Germany is said to be working behind the scenes to give Paris a way to avoid disgrace, while also securing a far firmer commitment to reform, notably of strict rules controlling the labour market.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part Two
Rust and Bone. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

The newest French films you need to see before you die (or alternatively when you get some spare time).

Election Watch
Presidential hopeful reckons a pain au chocolat is 10 cents

So France happily takes the pastry out of him.

French ministry of defence officials die in plane crash
Screengrab: eddydeg/Twitter

The French Ministry of Defence officials were killed on Monday when a light aircraft went down on the island of Malta.

Revealed: The ten most stolen cars in France
A Smart car in Paris. Photo: JR_Paris/Flickr

Thieves in France are getting a taste for luxury cars, it seems.

Analysis - France migrant crisis
Migrant crisis won't end with Calais 'Jungle' closure
All Photos: AFP

The Jungle camp may be being cleared but this won't be the end of the migrant crisis in France.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 'to sell their French chateau'
All photos: AFP

Want to live where Brangelina got married?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available