Monday, August 15, 2011

Majority of French worried about public deficit: poll

A majority of French people say they are worried about the level of France's public deficit, a poll showed Saturday, but the issue ranked only fourth among those to be addressed in coming months.

The IFOP poll showed 82 percent of respondents were worried about the deficit, which came into focus this week as President Nicolas Sarkozy's government sought to reassure markets about France's commitment to fiscal discipline.

With 50 percent of voters identifying the issue as a priority, it has gained in importance since the start of 2010, when just over a third ranked it among the issues to be dealt with ahead of next April's presidential election, IFOP said.

"This massive 14 point increase is obviously linked to the context of the poll and the abundant media coverage that has surrounded this subject," the pollster wrote in a statement.

France's debt, at around 85 percent of GDP this year, stands well above the euro zone's recommended 60 percent. (more)