April 7, 2014 / 10:20 AM / in 4 years

New French finance minister promises 'tough, brave' decisions on deficit

BERLIN (Reuters) - France’s new Finance Minister Michel Sapin said alongside his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday any measures to cut the French public deficit will come from growth and savings, promising to take “tough, brave” decisions on the economy.

Michel Sapin, France's newly-named Finance Minister and outgoing Labour, Employment and Social Dialogue Minister, delivers a speech during the official handover ceremony at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

“We all know the way out of the crisis will be first of all for us to stick to our commitments and secondly through higher economic growth,” he told a news conference with Schaeuble in Berlin. “We need more growth and, on the other hand, savings.”

Paris wants the European Commission to extend its deadline for cutting the public deficit, which stood at 4.3 percent of output in 2013. The head of Germany’s Bundesbank and the leading conservative candidate to head the EU’s executive Commission came out against such flexibility this weekend.

Reporting by Annika Breidthardt; Writing by Stephen Brown

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