French President Francois Hollande said on Sunday the country's economic growth forecast for 2013 will be downgrade to 0.8 percent from the previous forecast of 1.2 percent.
"It will be below 1 percent, most likely 0.8 percent," the French president said in a TV interview with TF1, admitting that the 2013 budget would be the toughest in 30 years. "We won't spend a euro more in 2013 than in 2012," Hollande affirmed.
The French leader also forecast a zero growth for the country's economy against earlier estimation of 0.3 percent.
His speech came at a time of mounting public discontent over the economic woes and the record high unemployment. Recent ratings have seen his popularity declined as a new president. However, Hollande promised to restore France to fiscal health in two years.
"My mission is a recovery plan and the time frame is two years," he said. "My government has no time to waste," he said, "It has reacted swiftly."
To save at least 30 billion euros (38.42 billion U.S. dollars) to reduce budget deficit to 3 percent of GDP for 2013 is quite a challenge for Hollande's Socialist government.
The president insisted on imposing a 75-percent tax on incomes above 1 million euros (1.28 million U.S. dollars) , vowing no exceptions in this wealth tax plan, but it might be dropped in two years "once the economy recovered."
Hollande pledged to stem rising unemployment in a year's time. The state statistics showed that the current unemployment rate has reached 10.2 percent in the second quarter and the latest unemployment number has mounted to 3 million.
Admitting economy worsen than expected, the French president wish the French people would have a better life in 2017 when he concludes his five-year mandate.