French Debt to Hit Nearly 2 Trillion Euros

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - France's public debt is expected to hit nearly two trillion euros ($2.7trln) by the end of 2014, or 95.1 percent of GDP, far higher than previous government estimates.

French Debt to Hit Nearly 2 Trillion Euros

The revelation came as France's public auditor warned that the "spiral of social debt" -- referring to the country's generous healthcare, family and pension schemes, which contribute to its overspending -- was "abnormal and particularly dangerous."

Previously, the government had said France's overall public debt would stand at 94.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) next year.

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici did not reject the new figure when asked about it on France 2 television Tuesday, admitting public debt would reach "maximum" levels in 2014 before coming back down.

At the end of 2012, the debt amounted to 90.2 percent of GDP, and the new figure will be a rise of more than 120 billion euros over two years, according to Le Figaro's report.

European Union rules require public debt to be no more than 60 percent of GDP or falling towards this ratio.

Adding to concerns, Didier Migaud, president of the Cour des Comptes -- France's public auditor -- said Tuesday that the current financial state of the country's generous healthcare system was "worrying".

The system is hemorrhaging money, with a deficit expected to hit nearly eight billion euros this year.



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