French deficit pledge will help euro zone budget discussions: ECB’s Coeure

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Benoit Coeure, board member of the European Central Bank (ECB), is photographed during an interview with Reuters journalists at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (Reuters) – The French government’s renewed commitment to bring its budget deficit in line with an EU limit is good not only for France but for upcoming euro zone discussions on budgets, ECB Executive Board member Benoit Coeure said on Sunday.

The French government has committed to stick to plans to cut the deficit to 3 percent of economic output this year despite overspending this year by its predecessor.

“One of the constraints facing the government is to keep its commitments on the budget and in particular on the three percent. This is something that we welcome in part because of the consequences for the rest of Europe,” Coeure said.

Speaking at an economics conference in southern France, Coeure said that France’s respect for the rules would help discussions the government hopes to launch soon about common budget measures in the euro zone.

“You can’t tell others what to do if you don’t respect the rules yourself,” Coeure said.

Speaking at the same conference, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that the government could cut spending and taxes at the same time.

“It’s because the ECB’s monetary policy is accommodative that we must without delay launch the transformation of our economy,” Le Maire said.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas and Michel Rose; Addditional reporting by Maya Nikolaeva in Paris)

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