German leader warns France over budget deficit

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says there can be no exceptions to European Union rules on national deficit targets.

Her comments Thursday in a speech to Parliament were a clear message to France.

France's Socialist government recently put forward plans that would see the deficit of Europe's second-largest economy increase, breaking a promise to bring it below the EU limit of 3 percent of GDP within two years.

Merkel said all 28 member states have to respect the EU's stability and growth pact "in full" or risk a loss of confidence in the eurozone economy.

She didn't specifically name France, but emphasized the word "all" three times.

The EU executive will decide in the coming weeks whether to force member states to revise their budgets.