7 Apr 2012

Economic stability promised by Sarkozy

6:00 am on 7 April 2012

With a presidential election just weeks away in France, incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy says only he can guarantee economic stability in turbulent times.

He warns that France must not find itself in the same situation as Spain or Italy.

The BBC reports Mr Sarkozy has promised spending cuts and greater stability and a new law committing France to balanced budgets.

"I want to say that in 2016 that France must have a balanced budget. I emphasise, a balanced budget is the golden rule for our citizens. I will vote it in from summer 2012.

''This golden rule is to be adopted by all our European partners - whether they are of the left or of the right," he said.

Mr Sarkozy also promised to freeze France's contributions to the European Union budget, saving 600 million euros annually.

According to the three most recent opinion polls available, Mr Sarkozy leads Socialist candidate Francois Hollande by an average of 1.8 percentage points in the first round, but trails him in the second by an average of seven points.

Voters first go to the polls on 22 April, with a run-off scheduled for 6 May.