French deficit will increase to finance social measures, says PM

Frances prime minister said that measures announced by Emmanuel Macron to appease the Yellow Jackets protesters would have “consequences in terms of deficit.”

The measures, estimated to cost between €8 billion and €10 billion, raised questions about whether France would still be able to abide by EU budget rules.

Edouard Philippe on Tuesday said there would be a deficit issue as a result. “It necessarily has consequences in terms of deficit and we know there will be an impact on the 2019 deficit,” he told the parliament, while vowing to keep public spending in check.

French President Macron announced the measures on Monday. They include nixing a tax rise for poorer pensioners and a €100-a-month pay hike for workers living on minimum wage through an increase of a state-funded income supplement.

These measures “show that the president heard the anger that was expressed” by French people, Philippe said. “We want to go fast, we want to go strong.”

“Commitments made by the president upon his election […] will be honored” — French PM Edouard Philippe

But Philippe said the presidents reformist streak wouldnt be derailed despite him giving in to the Yellow Jackets.

“Yesterdays announcements wont make us change our ambitions on transforming the country,” the prime minister said. “Commitments made by the president upon his election have been co-opted by the French people and will be honored.”

Philippe also took aim at previous French governments, alluding to “choices, conscious or not, to let public debt soar, to let deficit soar.”

En Marches Richard Ferrand, president of the lower house of parliament, said earlier that France “would likely have to increase its deficit to be able to fulfill these commitments.”

Opposition leaders were quick to slam the governments latest efforts to end the weeks-long crisis, which resulted in protests and violence across the country.

Olivier Faure, head of the Socialist Party, blasted the measures as “made in Sarkozy,” pointing out similarities between Macrons recent announcements and former French President Nicolas Sarkozys flagship policies.

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