Don’t expect policy change, French PM says after debt downgrade

By Thomson Reuters Jun 3, 2024 | 2:10 AM

PARIS (Reuters) – France won’t change its fiscal policy, Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said as his government looked set to face two new no-confidence motions in parliament on Monday after one of the main credit agencies cut its rating of the country’s debt.

“We won’t raise taxes, we already have too much taxes in France,” Attal told franceinfo radio.

Days ahead of a June 9 EU parliamentary election, S&P cut France’s long-term sovereign debt rating on Friday to “AA-” from “AA”, citing expectations that higher than expected deficits would push up debt in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy.

The motions, lodged by the far-right Rassemblement National and far-left LFI opposition groups of lawmakers, have little chance of passing.

However, they come as a reminder to the government of President Emmanuel Macron – who seeks to continue on his reform path despite lacking an absolute majority in parliament – that France’s strained state budget remains the Achilles’ heel for political stability.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)