France faces heat over budget deficit breach

Ahead of key meetings of EU finance ministers this week, the EC has signalled a willingness to move forward with the next stage in the European Union's excessive deficits procedure against France. Austrian Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser said in an interview that there was no room for compromise in euro currency rules and that France must reduce its planned 2004 deficit or face sanctions.

Source: Reuters

Pressure mounted on France on Monday to rein in its ballooning budget deficit but its o