French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Thursday his government would not support the European Fiskalpact on budget discipline in its current form, landing a further blow to the German-led consensus on austerity measures.
Speaking on French television station BFM-TV, Moscovici said any agreement would need to include an ambitious strategy for growth.
Moscovici's comments echoed those of newly elected President Francois Hollande, who has challenged German Chancellor Angela Merkel over her insistence on pursuing a strategy of tax hikes, budget cuts and strict fiscal targets for European nations -- in the wake of the growing sovereign debt crisis.
Most European leaders signed the pact late last year, and Germany has insisted it is not up for renegotiation.
We are conscious that we can do nothing alone. We must work together with all our partners, and above all with Germany and the European institutions, Moscovici said.
His comments were followed by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who also stressed his commitment to a growth agenda.
I feel deeply European, but we need a different Europe, a Europe that is much more concentrated on employment, he said.
The pact, which saw European nations bound to a series of strict budgetary parameters, was designed to prevent a future fiscal crisis such as that engulfing Greece, Spain and Portugal.
After his election last week, Hollande vowed to create thousands of new public sector jobs and scale back austerity measures.
The Socialist leader flew to meet Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday, only hours after being sworn into office.
In the meeting, both leaders pledged to forge a joint approach to boost growth in the recession-plagued region and to closely work together on resolving the sovereign debt crisis.
Speaking after the talks, he said, My wish is that growth is not an empty phrase, that it is something, which, in reality, is happening.
Because, without growth, we can't do whatever we want, we won't reach the goals which we want to.