President Francois Hollande said Tuesday that France's public deficit would probably amount to 3.7 percent of national output this year, publicly renouncing his government's goal of coming in below the EU limit of three percent.
"The public deficit in 2011 reached more than five percent of national wealth, it was 4.5 percent at the end of 2012 and will probably be 3.7 percent in 2013, even if we are trying to make it less," Hollande acknowledged during a visit to Dijon.
Hollande said his government had made an "unprecedented" effort to battle the deficit, adding: "The best economic strategy is to stay on this course and do nothing that could weaken growth.
"Rebalancing accounts is a financial and moral obligation, but it is also an obligation for our sovereignty because France must never be in trouble on the markets," Hollande said.
He also noted that France currently has "the lowest interest rates in its history".