PARIS, June 4 (Reuters) - France should have a budget deficit of 11.4% this year, swelled by the coronavirus crisis, a nationwide lockdown against it and steps to soften the blow to the economy, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Thursday.
“We’re in debt, and more and more so, because we have chosen to save the French economy (...) with a projected 11% GDP contraction, we’re going to have a 11.4% budget deficit,” he told France 2 television.
“France has never had such a level of budget deficit,” Darmanin added, saying the deficit stood at 2% in December 2019.
On Tuesday, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the French economy was set to contract 11% in 2020. (Reporting by Myriam Rivet; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)