France faces £8bn budget shortfall


France's new Socialist government will need to find between €7 billion (£5.6 billion) and €10 billion (£8.1 billion) for the 2012 budget to meet its deficit-cutting goals, the country's finance minister said today.

But Pierre Moscovici insisted the shortfall would not be made up by painful spending cuts.

"I object to all talk of austerity," he said on i-tele television.

The government will present a new budget on July 4 which is expected to include new tax measures.

President Francois Hollande has promised to cut the deficit to 4.5% this year.

France is a big contributor to bailouts of weaker European states.

Mr Hollande, who is pushing a Europe-wide stimulus package ahead of an EU summit this week, is meeting European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi in Paris today.