Nicholas Sarkozy pledges budget surplus if re-elected

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 Incumbent French President Nicolas Sarkozy has promised to reach 0.5 percent surplus of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017 and pledged to stick to growth targets if he wins the upcoming presidential election.

Unveiling his roadmap for a second term at the Elysee Palace Thursday, Sarkozy said he wanted to accelerate growth by 0.7 percent in 2012, 1.75 percent next year and by 2 percent up to 2017, reported Xinhua.

He also saw public debt at 89.2 percent of GDP this year and at 89.4 percent in 2013 before falling to 80.2 percent in 2017.

“Throughout my project, there are two appointments which are 3 percent deficit in 2013 and balanced deficit in 2016. Thanks to the work and courage of the French we are ahead on the path to reduce our deficits,” said Sarkozy.

Seeking to overturn deep dislike of a gloomy economic policy, the incumbent president pledged if re-elected to freeze its contribution to EU budget to save 600 million euros ($783.94 million) to meet the deficit target.

Sarkozy also reiterated his proposal to create a European law similar to the “Buy American Act” which would require members of the single-currency bloc to favour European-made goods in their purchases and help “companies which produce in Europe to benefit from the European public money”.

Working to “build a strong France to protect the French and enable them to take their destiny in hand”, Sarkozy stressed that “there is not a French national who wishes to our country the situation in Greece or Spain”.

Sarkozy’s announcements which focussed also on housing, unemployment and retirement came after socialist candidate Francois Hollande spoke of freeze on fuel prices, slash government ministers’ salaries and guarantee above-inflation interest rates on tax-free savings accounts.

Still lagging behind Hollande in opinion polls in the decisive May 6 runoff, Sarkozy slammed his socialist arch rival’s “festival of new spending as if the crisis does not exist”.

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