News Summary: French leader hails easing austerity

News Summary: French finance chief hails Europe's decision to slow pace of debt reduction

Associated Press
News Summary: French leader hails easing austerity
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German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, second right, lifts a fist as he poses for a family photo with his counterpart from France, Pierre Moscovici, second left, the President of the Federal Bank of France, Christian Noyer, left, and the President of the German Federal Bank, Jens Weidmann, right, as part of the 25th meeting of the German French Finance and Economy Council in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, May 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

RELIEVED: French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici welcomed the European Union's suggestion that France will get more time to reduce its deficit. He called it a turning point in the region's approach toward reviving growth.

SHIFT IN FOCUS: Some Europeans say reliance on austerity measures such as spending cuts and tax hikes have choked off growth in the 27-nation bloc. Speaking Tuesday at a Berlin university, Moscovici urged adoption of a more growth-friendly approach that includes tightening the budget when the economy is stronger and easing off the cuts in times of weaker growth.

WHAT'S NEXT: The EU Commission, the bloc's executive arm, hinted last week that it will grant France two more years to get its deficit below the limit of 3 percent of annual output to account for the current economic downturn.

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