France must observe EU budget rules, commitments -officials

ATHENS, April 1 Tue Apr 1, 2014 6:40am EDT

ATHENS, April 1 (Reuters) - France has not asked European Union institutions for more time to bring down its budget deficit below the European Union ceiling of 3 percent but must observe the already extended deadline of 2015, top euro zone officials said on Tuesday.

French President Francois Hollande said on Monday that Sunday's elections, in which his Socialists lost control of more than 150 towns, showed the need for a "solidarity pact" offering workers tax cuts and assurances on welfare, youth training and education, and that it should be financed from smaller spending cuts.

"France is aware of its commitments, they were already given more time and more work needs to be done," the chairman of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem told a news conference.

"I'm sure new French government will be aware of its obligations," he said. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski, John O'Donnell and Martin Santa)

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