France is sticking to its current deficit reduction plans and is not seeking extra time to bring its finances in line with EU rules, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday.
France's EU partners have already granted it two extra years to cut its public deficit to a European limit of three percent of economic output, giving Paris until 2015.
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However, in forecasts published on Wednesday, the European Commission estimated France was on course to miss its deficit-reduction targets this year and next year.
"France has a path that it has presented to the European Commission and it's sticking to it," Moscovici told journalists in Paris.
He added that definitive 2013 deficit figures due end-March were needed for a clear picture of French finances before Paris updates deficit-reduction plans in April for the Commission, which polices members' efforts to meet EU deficit rules.
"I want France to be able to reduce its debt burden in 2015," he said. "It's in that frame of mind that I've begun talks with (EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner) Olli Rehn without mentioning anything that would look like a delay".
Under its current plans, President Francois Hollande's government is hoping a gradual recovery will help it cut the public deficit to 3.6 percent of output this year and bring it in line with EU limits in 2015 with a deficit of 2.8 percent.
However, the EU's executive arm forecast that the French deficit would stand at 4.0 percent of gross domestic product this year and fall only marginally to 3.9 percent in 2015.
The estimate did not, however, take into account 15 billion euros ($21 billion) in budget savings that the government plans to make this year as they have yet to be detailed.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; editing by Mark John)