Weidmann Sees Major French Role for Credible EU Debt Rule

European Central Bank governing council member Jens Weidmann warned euro members against easing their commitment to the euro region’s debt rules, singling out France as the country that most needs to lead by example.

Giving countries that are in bailout programs more time to carry out economic-policy changes means providing them with bigger funds from bailout coffers and possibly even transfers from donor countries, which need political acceptance, Weidmann said today at a savings banks conference in Dresden, Germany.

“The non-program countries should not repeat the mistakes of 2004 and interpret the reinforced Stability and Growth Pact too flexibly in its first test,” Weidmann said, referring to the agreed rules of the euro. “France especially has an important role model function for the credibility of rules and confidence in the sustainability of public finances.”

French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said today that he saw a global consensus emerging at Group of 20 meetings last week on the pace of budget deficit reduction and that France’s strategy “corresponds to dominant concerns internationally.” France’s approach is about “sustainable finances, structural reforms but also about not stifling growth,” he said.

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