French public finances: Budget, fudge it

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The revolution is over

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French public finances


France wriggles free from the hard taskmasters of Brussels



IT WAS billed as a dramatic showdown between the French miscreants and the European Union’s enforcers. But in the end the clash never came. On October 29th the European Commission decided not to request revisions to France’s budget for 2015, despite its clear breach of the euro zone’s deficit rules, after the French government offered enough last-minute concessions.
France had set itself up for a collision in September, when President François Hollande’s government unveiled its growth forecast. This showed that the country would fail to cut its budget deficit, as it had promised, to 3.8% of GDP this year and 3% next. Instead, the deficit would rise to 4.4% in 2014, before dropping back to 4.3% next year. France, announced Michel Sapin, the finance minister, would not reach the euro zone’s 3% ceiling, originally promised …

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