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EU says budget rules to take French security into account after attacks

By AFP - Nov 17,2015 - Last updated at Nov 17,2015

A soldier patrols at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday (AP photo)

BRUSSELS – The European Union said Tuesday it was ready to take French security priorities into account after France said it was likely to break eurozone deficit rules because of extra spending after the Paris attacks.

"The rules of the stability pact do not stop member states from defining their priorities. We understand that the priority is security," EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told a news conference.

Moscovici, the former French finance minister, said the tough budgetary rules imposed by Brussels after the eurozone debt crisis were neither rigid nor stupid, they are capable of dealing with situations.

"It is in that spirit that we are in discussions with the French government."

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls confirmed earlier that France would exceed its spending targets — which had aimed to reduce the deficit below 3 per cent of economic output by 2017 — in order to fund extra police and military.

"We have to do this and Europe should understand this," Valls told France Inter radio.

"It is also time that the EU, the European Commission, understand today that this battle concerns France, and also Europe."

 

The show of fiscal solidarity came just hours after EU defence ministers unanimously backed a French request for military assistance in the wake of the Paris attacks.

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