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French finance minister calls EU public debt rules 'obsolete'

French finance minister calls EU public debt rules ‘obsolete’

In an interview with seven European media outlets, Le Maire argued, two weeks after France took over the EU Council presidency on January 1, he said the Stability and Growth Pact, “as a whole, is not obsolete, but the public debt norm is out”. .

The public debt of member states should not exceed 60% of GDP, and the budget deficit should not exceed 3% of GDP.

Bruno Le Maire emphasized: “Before the crisis, there was a difference of about 40 percentage points of GDP between the most heavily indebted members of the eurozone. The gap is now more than 100%.”

The minister explained that “there are several proposals on the table” to reform the charter, which are “different timetables and goals for each country.”

“Others have developed the concept (…) that it is up to the member states to determine the necessary stages and changes in their economic policies, which would allow them to have sound financial resources again,” an “interesting” idea for Le Maire.

Ultimately, it will be necessary to “find the right balance between the investments necessary to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century and the need to return to sound public finances.”

Bruno Le Maire also said he hoped to “get rid” of “all health restrictions” associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, by the end of the year.

In the face of the spread of variable ómicron in France, the French government strengthened health restrictions at the end of December, that is, encouraging the use of remote work at least three days a week.

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apl // mag

Lusa / end