France said for the first time its 2002 public deficit likely topped the three percent limit set by the European Union.
French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin also said Tuesday the deficit may remain above three percent this year.
He said the government’s goal of 2.5 percent growth in 2003 appears unattainable. France posted 1.2 percent growth in 2002.
Mr. Raffarin said he would not call for harsh measures to plug the growing budget deficit such as tax increases or budget cuts.
The prime minister made his remarks before the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Some information for this report provided by Reuters.0
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