France needs to raise €270B in debt to overcome deficit: Debt agency chief
EUROPE

France needs to raise €270B in debt to overcome deficit: Debt agency chief

Government presents 3 budget bills on finance, social security and renewable energy

News Service AA

France will need to raise a record €270 billion ($259 billion) in debt in financial markets in 2023 in order to overcome its deficit, the head of the country’s debt agency announced Monday, according to local media reports.

Cyril Rousseau, director general of Agence France Tresor, was speaking in a media briefing on the sidelines of the government’s budget presentation, Le Figaro news reported.

In 2021 and 2022, the state borrowed nearly €260 billion.

Public debt has soared, as since the beginning of the year, the state borrowed funds on average at a rate of 1.18% on the markets, while it was -0.05% in 2021, which amounts to an increase in the public debt burden. It aimed to deal with the expenses incurred during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report added.

The Macron government adopted a “whatever it costs” approach to provide financial aid and to protect businesses and corporations from collapsing during the months-long lockdown.

The government presented three separate bills of the 2023 budget: the finance bill, the social security financing bill, and the bill on "the acceleration of renewable energy," terming it as a “protection budget” with no increase in taxes.

The government will maintain a tariff shield on electricity and gas prices estimated at €45 billion. There will be a nominal increase in the energy bills which the French will have to shoulder from early next year.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said next year’s budget aims to reduce inflation and protect the French people.

“We don't want to raise taxes and we want to protect households," he said, according to a report in FranceInfo news.

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