French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Thursday put pressure on Germany to compromise on revising the European Union's fiscal rules, saying that Paris had already moved enough in Berlin's direction.
EU finance ministers are to make a new attempt on Friday to reach a deal on the rules which govern their public finances, although officials have said that is unlikely this year due to persisting differences between member states.
Le Maire and his German counterpart Christian Lindner have met personally six times in recent months to thrash out a compromise that could serve as a draft for a broader agreement.
"I consider that France has taken every necessary step towards Germany to reach a compromise, we are 90% in agreement," Le Maire told reporters before the latest round of negotiations in Brussels.
But France refuses to make concessions that would remove incentives for EU member states to make investments and economic reforms because of the state of their government finances, he said.
"This principle is an absolute red line," he said, adding that flexibility on how fast debt reduced must be kept in the agreement.
"If the pact forbids investment, there won't be innovation, and if there isn't innovation there won't be productivity... So I will refuse rules that could kill off innovation, productivity and growth in Europe." (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten)