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France On ‘Historic’ Push to Strengthen Economy, Moscovici Says

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Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- The French government has embarked on a “historic” drive to push through structural reforms and to cut its budget deficit after the debt crisis revealed the economy’s weakness, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said.

Speaking in Berlin today, Moscovici said the Socialist government of President Francois Hollande is tackling reforms neglected by the previous regime, pursuing “fair” and “reasonable” economic reforms and plans to keeping its deficit next year from exceeding 3 percent of output.

“The crisis is showing up the weakness of the French economy, it isn’t the cause of it,” Moscovici told reporters in the German parliament after talks with Peer Steinbrueck, the chancellor candidate of the opposition Social Democratic Party, and German union leaders.

Germany’s SPD and unions back Hollande’s efforts to underpin budget cuts with programs to boost economic growth, SPD spokesman Hannes Schwarz said in an interview today. Moscovici discussed a German union program called “Alliance for Industrial Renewal in Europe” that aims to coordinate policy to tap European Union Structural Funds, revenue from a financial-transaction tax and European Investment Bank loans to finance industrial programs, Schwarz said.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Parkin in Berlin at bparkin@bloomberg.net

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

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