France swats aside EU budget rules in rearmament blitz

“The security pact takes precedence over the stability pact. France is at war,” said President Hollande.

France has invoked emergency powers to sweep aside EU deficit rules and retake control over its economy after the terrorist atrocities in Paris, pledging a massive in increase and security and defence spending whatever the cost.

President Francois Hollande said vital interests of the French nation are at stake and there can be no further justification for narrowly-legalistic deficit rules imposed by Brussels. “The security pact takes precedence over the stability pact. France is at war,” he told the French parliament. Defence cuts have been cancelled as far out as 2019 as the country prepares to step up its campaign to “eradicate” ISIS, from the Sahel in West Africa, across the Maghreb, to Syria and Iraq.

At least 17,000 people will be recruited to beef up the security apparatus and the interior ministry, fast becoming the nerve centre of the country’s all-encompassing war against the ISIS network. The new forces include 5,000 new police and gendarmes, 1,000 customs officials, and 2,500 prison guards. “I assume it will lead to an increase in expenses,” he said.

The combined effect amounts to a fiscal stimulus and may ultimately cushion the economic damage of terrorist attacks for the tourist industry, but the “rearmament” drive spells the end of any attempt to meet deficit limit of 3pc of GDP enshrined in the Stability and Growth Pact. With France in open defiance, the reconstituted pact is now effectively dead.

Lees verder op The Telegraph