French Budget Minister Francois Baroin indicated on Sunday that France should not take for granted its top-notch credit rating.
Reuters: “The objective of keeping the AAA rating is an objective that is a stretch, and it is an objective that, in fact, partly informs the economic policies we want to have,” Baroin said.
“We must maintain our AAA rating, reduce our debt to avoid being too dependent on the markets, and we must do this for the long term,” he told Canal+ TV in an interview.
Contacted by Reuters, the Budget Ministry later clarified that the target was “a demanding (objective) which we’re committed to.”
While a threat to France’s AAA rating doesn’t appear to be imminent, Fitch ratings has said that concerns may mount if the country fails to come up with a concise plan towards fiscal discipline over the next year or so.
France has forecast its deficit, which acts as a drag on economic growth, will hit 8% of GDP this year, but aims to bring it down to within the EU’s 3% limit by 2013.