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France shouldn't get easy ride: Bundesbank

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Oliver Gee - [email protected]
France shouldn't get easy ride: Bundesbank
French President Francois Hollande. Photo: DPA

The head of the German central bank on Thursday described the decision by the EU Commission to grant France a two-year delay to reach its budget targets as problematic.

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"The latest development in France's deficit procedure is very problematic," Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann said on presentation of the central bank's annual accounts.

France has just been awarded extra time to bring its deficit below the 3.0-percent ceiling laid down in EU rules.

"I had hoped that a country like France would seek to set an example" in budgetary discipline, Weidmann said.

"But the deficit ceiling was only respected (there) in a small number of years," he complained.

Overall, "respect of the rules is weaker than it was before the crisis," he said.
Earlier this week, ECB executive board member Benoit Coeure had expressed concern that the EU's strict budget rules are being undermined and major economies treated more leniently than smaller ones.

"We would not create trust in the eurozone if we create the perception that what has already been decided is being unravelled," said Coeure, a Frenchman.

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