(Adds further quote, background)
AMSTERDAM, April 7 The president of the German
central bank warned on Monday that the credibility of the euro
zone's budgetary rules was at stake and that France's suggestion
that the bloc's budget deficit targets be weakened are a "test
case" for the rules.
"It's vital that we stick to these rules, because the
credibility of these rules is at stake," Bundesbank President
Jens Weidmann told Dutch public television late on Monday.
"A currency union needs its members to aim for stability...
Part of that is having an orderly budget and part of that is
sticking to agreements," added Weidmann, who is also a member of
the European Central Bank's board.
France's new Finance Minister Michel Sapin said last week
the country would seek a review of its deadline for meeting the
European Union's budget deficit ceiling of 3 percent.
"France is a test case for the credibility of these new
rules," Weidmann said, echoing other senior European officials
including Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn,
who told Reuters last week there were no grounds for giving
France an extension.
Speaking alongside his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble
in Berlin on Monday, Sapin said any measures to cut the French
public deficit would come from growth and savings, and promised
"tough, brave" decisions on the economy.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Eric Walsh and Lisa