The Straits Times
Published on Nov 15, 2012

French PM Ayrault committed to cutting deficit


BERLIN (AP) - France's prime minister on Thursday assured a German audience that his country is committed to getting its debt under control, saying it is essential to preserving France's sovereignty.

Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault told German business leaders that France is committed to "stop burdening future generations with continuously rising debt and restore the necessary leeway for political actions".

Mr Ayrault's first visit in Germany since taking office in May comes as concerns grow that France's economy, the Euro zone's second-largest, is weakening. Official figures show it barely avoided recession in the third quarter. France is Berlin's most important ally in fighting Europe's debt crisis.

Mr Ayrault stressed "we are aware that getting the public finances in order is also the precondition for our sovereignty".