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France will miss target

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin has ruled out substantive changes to France's 2015 budget ahead of the deadline for presenting it to the EU Commission.

The current budget draft confirms that France will miss a target to bring its deficit below an EU-mandated limit of 3pc of output next year and will only attain that goal by 2017.

EU officials are seeking to persuade France to adjust the budget before it presents the package to the European Commission, warning that they could use their powers to reject the budget outright - a political embarrassment for France.