G20 deficit goal is "not an order," Sarkozy insists
An agreement by the world's wealthiest developed states to cut their deficits in half by 2013 is "not an order," French President Nicolas Sarkozy stressed Sunday after a summit of Group of 20 (G20) developed and developing economies in Toronto, DPA reported.
Other leaders at the summit hailed the commitment, which is meant to restore market confidence in rich countries' stability, as one of the main successes of the meeting. But Sarkozy said that "it is not an order from the G20, and it is not a general G20 goal."
France's budget deficit is tipped to hit 8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year. The country is already under European Union pressure to bring it below 3 per cent by 2013.
But Sarkozy faces presidential elections in 2012, leading analysts to question whether his government will cut spending that year.
However, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that he was confident that France would meet its targets.
"All the agreements here are voluntary, in the sense that we're sovereign countries, but we have taken engagements and the world expects us to deliver," he said.