French Socialist Candidate Hollande Pledges to Renegotiate Fiscal Treaty

Francois Hollande, the front-runner in the French presidential election, will call for the renegotiation of the European treaty on fiscal discipline if he wins, his campaign chief said.

“We cannot enter a spiral of austerity with a pact geared only toward austerity,” Pierre Moscovici told a news conference today in Paris. “Budgetary discipline isn’t enough, there is a need for growth.”

Measures would include an increased role for the European Central Bank “to put it to the service of real economy,” the creation of euro bonds and the use of receipts from a European financial-transaction tax to erect a stronger firewall to prevent debt-crisis contagion in the euro area. Moscovici also mentioned the creation of European “project bonds” to fund big industrial projects. Hollande is the Socialist candidate opposing President Nicolas Sarkozy in the vote.

Efforts to hold the 17-nation euro area together with bolstered fiscal rules and a stronger firewall are colliding with stalled progress in Greece, where the crisis began in 2009. Twenty-five of the 27 EU members signed off on the treaty Hollande would renegotiate when leaders met in Brussels yesterday for their first summit of 2012.

Sarkozy said in Brussels yesterday he would not ratify the treaty before the two rounds of the presidential election in April and May.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with investors in China later this week in a bid to win confidence in Europe’s ability to solve the debt crisis. Moscovici said today Hollande would favor European investors in the region.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at hfouquet1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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