22nd Apr 2019

Chirac attacks Stability Pact

French President Jacques Chirac has reopened the debate on the EU's Stability and Growth Pact by announcing in his traditional Bastille day television address that it should be more flexible.

Mr Chirac has put the issue firmly onto the Eurozone finance ministers' agenda just hours before they are due to meet in Brussels.

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In the TV interview, Mr Chirac said he wants the Eurozone finance ministers "to examine together provisional methods for relaxing" the pact which obliges Eurozone countries to limit their budget deficit to less than 3% of GDP.

According to Mr Chirac, the ministers must find a solution which is coherent with stability requirements and which makes it possible not to decrease growth at a moment where member states are trying to revive the European economy.

The French President insisted that it was not about changing the Pact, but that the "circumstances in certain countries" must be taken into account.

France, along with Germany, is having severe problems sticking to the terms of the Pact.

Agence France Presse writes that the feeling among diplomats was that the highly controversial debate surrounding the Pact would be left until after the summer recess.

Spiegel Online quotes the Commission as saying only, "We will see what happens this evening".

Monetary Affairs Spokesperson, Gerassimos Thomas could not be drawn further, said the Online German news site.

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