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France’s retention of AAA rating

Published on October 20, 2011
Excerpts from the reply given by François Baroin, Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, October 18, 2011

(…)

We’re going to continue our work. Indeed, it’s the determination to continue – which is a strategy, a course, a direction – that will enable us to achieve these goals on time or ahead of schedule.

We know the circumstances and the context: a level of debt that is hard to sustain. So we must reduce the deficits.

The strategy is based on a few simple ideas.

First simple idea: structural reforms. The most significant reforms in the government’s action in this regard are the pensions reform and the Révision générale des politiques publiques [overhaul of public policies]. Any other argument calling into question what has been undertaken is irresponsible and alien to the economic circumstances we find ourselves in.

Second simple idea: continuing reductions in tax breaks and shelters. Valérie Pécresse and I pledged – following the arbitration by President Sarkozy and the Prime Minister – to propose an ambitious target, equal in value to the one we proposed for the 2011 budget: in the order of €11 billion. That will enable us to achieve the goal set.

Finally, the third simple idea: protecting recovering growth, supporting economic activity and rejecting any measures that would affect spending power, particularly for the poorest and vulnerable among us.
On the basis of this strategy, this determination and this ability to adapt, the government will increase stability and, beyond that,
protection of the social model to which we are very committed./.

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