ECB'S Praet says France must cut spending, start reforms

PARIS Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:05pm EST

PARIS Dec 18 (Reuters) - France must cut spending in order to meet its budget deficit target and undertake structural reforms to boost competitiveness, European Central Bank Executive Board Member Peter Praet said on Tuesday.

"France has too often resisted change," Praet said in an interview with French daily Le Figaro. "There is a consensus now in France on the need to improve public finances and competitiveness. To do that, structural reform is needed."

He also said euro zone countries should not back away from meeting a 3 percent deficit target despite an economic downturn in the bloc.

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