April 26 - French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici tells Reuters that France is striking the right balance between austerity and growth and is doing 'exactly what is needed' for its economy and the global economy. Rough cut only (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION French finance minister Pierre Moscovici told Reuters that France is on the right economic course and is striking the right balance between austerity and pro-growth policies. When asked whether France was moving away from austerity and towards pro-growth policies, without 'knuckling down' to address the tough issues, Moscovici said there was a difference between serious fiscal consolidation and austerity, which he likened to 'when you kill the patient.' "We are changing slightly, but clearly, the balance between fiscal consolidation and pro-growth policies. We are driving both ways. And that's what is important and this is I think very credible because doing so we are still moving on with structural reforms which are decisive," he said. "We are doing exactly what is needed for our economy and for the European and world economy." Earlier this week, France's new fiscal watchdog said the country's economy could contract this year and grow by less than expected in the following four years. The government is basing its fiscal program on growth forecasts of 0.1 percent of GDP for this year, 1.2 percent next year and 2 percent on average in 2015-2017. But the oversight body saw risks linked to the economic outlook in Europe and weak domestic demand. It said in a report that a slight contraction of GDP in 2013 and growth well below 1.2 percent in 2014 could not be ruled out.