France will not further cut its public spending to reach the EU fiscal target of 3 percent of GDP by next year, French President Francois Hollande said.
"Three percent is the goal but if the economy slowed down, which is not impossible, we would use the flexibility margins," he told a media dinner late Monday.
"If growth weakened, austerity measures would make things even worse for recovery," Hollande added.
He reiterated earlier pledges to lower the national budget deficit without further squeezing public expenditure.
Last year, the European Commission granted Paris extra time to rein in its finances and reduce its budget deficit to 3 percent of GDP by 2015.
The French government consequently proposed a package of savings, including freezing pensions and welfare benefits for a year and keeping most civil service pay frozen until 2017.
The French national accounting office recently said the Socialist government would miss their 2014 deficit target unless GDP growth increases by 1 percent.
The audit office further noted that "uncertainties over the achievement of anticipated savings, coupled with risks to reach revenue estimates, make for a very fragile fiscal path in 2015-2017." (1 euro = 1.347 U.S. dollars)