European Central Bank board member Christian Noyer on Sunday said France's aim to bring its budget deficit down to 3 percent from 8 percent of GDP by 2013 was realistic.
Noyer was echoing a similar pledge by Prime Minister Francois Fillon at the weekend who said France planned to cut its deficit by 100 billion euros over the next three years, in part by slashing expenditures and eliminating tax exemptions.
France is keen to voice its commitment to fiscal austerity ahead of a meeting in Berlin on Monday between President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss European economic governance. For related story see
Germany last week unveiled its biggest austerity push in more than half a century and has been pressing Paris to emulate its efforts and unveil concrete savings measures.
I am totally confident in the fact that it is possible to get there, Noyer said in an interview on France 5 television and RFI radio, talking about France's deficit target.
The measures (to cut the deficit) are complicated to decide. We need not only measures on (public) spending and receipts but also structural measures, Noyer added.
Addressing the issue of governance, Noyer said was he was in favor of strong banking regulation but called for caution regarding taxes on banks which could harm the economy.
One has to be very careful, Noyer said, referring to the idea of introducing taxes on banks which could raise borrowing costs.
(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt and Laure Bretton; Editing by Matthew Jones)