French budget deficit jumped by 44 percent in 2008

February 13th, 2009 - 4:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Paris, Feb 13 (DPA) The French budget deficit rose to 56.2 billion euros ($72.5 billion) in 2008, an increase of 44 percent over the previous year, the budget ministry announced Friday.
Budget Minister Eric Woerth immediately tried to reassure the French that there would be no tax increase in 2009 to make up for the revenue shortfall that helped create the large deficit.

“If we increase taxes, the (economic) crisis will deepen,” Woerth told LCI television.

The deficits, Woerth said, are the inevitable results of the economic crisis, and will grow even larger this year.

“Of course, there will be a decline in economic growth in 2009,” he said. “And of course the deficits will increase mechanically.”

On Thursday, Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said that France’s GDP would contract by “at least one percent” this year.

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