30 March 2007: Government debt fell by 2.3 percentage points in 2006, from 66.2% to 63.9% of GDP

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As of 31 December 2006, France's general government debt, as defined in the Maastricht Treaty, stood at €1,142.2 billion or 63.9% of GDP. The ratio had stood at 66.2% on 31 December 2005. This reduction of 2.3 percentage points is the largest ever recorded in France in the last thirty years. It represents a reduction of more than €40 billion in 2006 alone.

The central government set the example by cutting its negotiable debt in current euros in 2006 for the first time, reducing it by €0.8 billion from €877.4 billion to €876.6 billion.

This historic achievement is in keeping with the commitment made by the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry, Thierry Breton, on 19 May 2006 to reduce government debt as a percentage of GDP by at least 2% in 2006. It is testimony to the success of the Government's debt reduction strategy based on tightening control of government finances, using the proceeds from the sale of government assets to reduce debt, and optimising central government and general government cash management.

Press contact:
Thierry Breton ‘s press office : 
33 1 53 18 41 35