France's Central Bank Governor Christian Noyer on Thursday called on the government to "more boldly cut spending" and implement reforms after Paris said it would miss its 2014 and 2015 deficit targets owing to poor growth and deflation.
"There is no alternative to the policy of reforms to boost growth and the measures that have been announced," Noyer said.
"There is no need for tax increases, but it's necessary to boldly cut spending. The government must make reforms such as cutting payroll taxes that will reduce business costs and boost employment," he added.
"If we don't do so, we'll remain with zero growth and 10 percent of unemployment," Noyer warned.
Speaking to local broadcaster Europe1, the French governor estimated that the French economy would "very likely" grow less than 1 percent. This could force the Socialist government to make necessary reforms to boost the country's GDP.
Growth this year is expected to be 0.4 percent, down 0.6 percentage points from an earlier estimate.
On Wednesday, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin announced the deficit would rise slightly to 4.4 percent this year from a previous target of 3.8 percent.
He said the government would maintain the current plan to save 21 billion euros (47.92 billion U.S. dollars) in public spending in 2015 while not raising taxes. (1 euro = 1.282 U.S. dollars)