French President Francois Hollande has said the European Commission (EC), the executive body of the European Union (EU), cannot "dictate to France what to do" to rebalance its ailing finances.
On Wednesday, the EC told Paris it should swiftly start reforming its pension system to rebalance it by 2020, further cut labour costs and reduce public spending to bring its budget deficit down in line with the European request.
"Anyway we have to make such reforms and we will do it in justice and with responsibility," reported Xinhua Wednesday citing Hollande during his visit to French town of Rodez.
"Concerning the structural reforms, including pension reforms, it is up to us, and us alone, to say what is the right way to achieve the goal," he said.
Pledging to reach zero deficit by 2017 from an expected 3.7 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) this year, Hollande said he would "initiate a discussion with social partners".
Earlier this month, the European Union (EU) gave France two more years to reach its financial commitments and "to correct the excessive deficit at the latest by 2015" instead of 2013.