In Austerity Showdown, France, Italy and EU Find Face-Saving Compromise

French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Brussels, Belgium, April 2, 2014 (Photo from the website of the Italian President).
French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Brussels, Belgium, April 2, 2014 (Photo from the website of the Italian President).
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After a several weeks of back-and-forth with the European Union over France’s 2015 national budget, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin announced yesterday that he will cut France’s budget deficit by an additional $4.6 billion to fall in line EU budgetary rules. The European Growth and Stability Pact (GSP) requires that all member state budget deficits fall under 3 percent of GDP. The original budget the French submitted to the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, estimated that France’s deficit would rise to 4.4 percent of GDP. It is understandable that French President Francois Hollande, facing slow economic growth […]

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