France AAA rating solid, 2012 GDP forecast too high - finmin

PARIS Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:17am BST

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PARIS (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Francois Baroin said on Tuesday that France's AAA credit rating was not threatened as the country was enacting deficit-cutting measures, while warning that a GDP growth target of 1.75 percent for 2012 was probably too high.

"It (France's AAA credit rating) is not in danger because... we will even be ahead of schedule on passing deficit reduction measures," Baroin said on France 2 television.

Asked if France's GDP growth target of 1.75 percent for 2012 would have to change in light of weak economic prospects, he added: "It is probably too high compared to the development of the economic situation, we will not adapt it today."

"We will adapt it, that much is clear."

Moody's warned on Monday it may slap a negative outlook on France's Aaa credit rating in the next three months if the costs for helping to bail out banks and other euro zone members stretch its budget too much.

The warning comes as European Union leaders are discussing measures to protect the region's financial system from an expected Greek debt default. Those measures should include injection of capital into banks with exposure to Greek debt.

(Reporting By Nicholas Vinocur; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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