France needs an extra two years to get its budget deficit to within an EU limit of 3 per cent, dpa cited Finance Minister Michel Sapin as announcing on Wednesday.
The French government had initially committed to reach the 3-per-cent
target by 2015. But stagnant growth has affected government revenues, leaving the gap between income and spending as big as ever.
The eurozone's second-largest economy is on course to grow only by
0.4 per cent this year and 1 per cent next year, Sapin told a press conference.
That in turn affects the deficit, which he forecast to rise from 4.2
per cent last year to 4.4 per cent in 2014 and 4.3 per cent in 2015 before eventually falling to 3 per cent in 2017.
It was unclear how Brussels would react to the delay.