(MENAFN - AFP) French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said Thursday his country had a "duty" to reverse years of budget deficits.
"In the past 30 years, France has not been able to pass a balanced budget. State debt rose to an unacceptable 1.7 trillion euros (2.2 trillion) in 2011. It is our duty to reverse this," Moscovici wrote in a column for the German business daily Handelsblatt.
France intends to lower its deficit to the European Union's ceiling of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product next year and start bringing down its debt from 2014, the minister said.
"This is an ambitious plan and we intend to implement it without striving for an old-fashioned budget policy of tax and expenditure increases," he said.
"Over the next five years, there will be more cuts in spending than increases in taxes and that will bring in 60 billion euros," Moscovici said.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund warned that France's growth outlook "remains fragile" and said that it would probably miss its target of reducing its public deficit to three percent of output in 2013.