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France

France's debt shoots over two trillion euros

President François Hollande and finance minister Michel Sapin. Files 15 Septembre 2014.
President François Hollande and finance minister Michel Sapin. Files 15 Septembre 2014. Reuters/Alain Jocard/Pool

France's national debt has ballooned to over two trillion euros for the first time, leaving President François Holmande's government way off reaching European Union targets.

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According to figures published on Tuesday by the national statistics agency Insee, the total French national debt amounted to 2.023 trillion euros in the second quarter of 2014. 

This represents 95.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), despite an EU target of debt not exceeding 60 per cent of GDP. 

Dossier: Eurozone in crisis

France's national debt has risen 28.7 billion euros compared to the first quarter of the year.

Reacting to the news, the economy ministry blamed previous governments, pointing out that the debt doubled between 2002 and 2012 from 930 billion euros to 1,860 billion euros.

Finance Minister Michel Sapin stressed that the Socialist government plans to clean up public finances and make cuts in public spending that "should allow us to stop the growth in debt".

On Wednesday the government will officially propose its provisionnal 2015 budget, which will propose 21 billion euros in public spending cuts.

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