French Official: No More Austerity This Year

PARIS (AP) -

France’s finance minister says his government won’t enact any more austerity measures this year, even though it has acknowledged it won’t meet its deficit goal because of slow growth.

The French government had promised to reduce its deficit to three percent of gross domestic product this year to bring it in line with European Union rules and help right the economy. But now, France says that would be impossible, and has asked the European Union for an extension.

Still, Pierre Moscovici says the government would not heap more tax hikes or spending cuts on the country this year. He said such measures would be counterproductive, since they can slow growth even further.

“We refuse to add austerity to the recession,” he told French media on Sunday.