Sarkozy Ends Vacation to Work on Deficit Cuts

Posted August 10th, 2011 at 11:20 am (UTC-5)
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy has promised that France will stick to its deficit-cutting goals in a bid to reassure markets rattled by the eurozone debt crisis.

Mr. Sarkozy cut short his vacation Wednesday and called an emergency meeting with key government ministers to discuss the financial crisis. He says the August 24 meeting will produce new plans for helping the country stick to its budget-deficit goals.

The president’s announcement follows speculation that France could be the next major nation after the United States to lose the coveted AAA credit rating.

France is aiming for a deficit of 5.7 percent of its gross domestic product for this year, a goal of 4.6 percent in 2012 and the European Union limit of 3.0 percent in 2013.

France’s slowdown in economic growth may make it difficult to meet those goals. But French Finance Minister Francois Baroin says his country will take the necessary steps to reach them. He did not elaborate.

Mr. Sarkozy and several other European leaders were criticized for being on vacation while the markets dropped, in part because of fears about the eurozone debt crisis.