European Central Banks concerned over French budget deficit

PARIS, Sept 23, 2007 (AFP) – European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet said Sunday that France’s public finances were in “very great difficulty” with the worst public spending to output ratio in the European Union.

“I would say that French public finances are in very great difficulty,” Trichet said in an interview on Europe 1 radio.

“In 2007, according to statistics from the European Commission, France will the country spending the most in public expenditure in relation to gross domestic product, not only within the eurozone but among the 27 members of the European Union.”

“When you look at the figures it is worrying to see that the development of France’s public finances has on average been significantly worse than that of other European countries.”

France “has not been well managed for a long time” and “has enormous progress to make,” said Trichet, himself a Frenchman and former governor of the French central bank, the Banque de France.

“The deficits of today weaken the economy, and our spending today will weigh on our children and on our grandchildren.”

Trichet’s comments came after French Prime Minister Francois Fillon had said on Friday that the French state was “in a state of ban