The European Commission (EC) has confirmed that France, Poland, Slovenia and Spain will get two year extensions to meet budget deficit targets, even as it added that spending cuts in France are "crucial" as unemployment is a continuing source of concern.
The Commission said granting France two additional years would be consistent with headline deficit targets of 3.9 percent of GDP for 2013, 3.6 percent for 2014 and 2.8 percent for 2015.
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The EC did however urge France to reduce its pace of public spending in order to tackle structural deficit problems and simplify its tax system, reinforcing calls from ratings agency Standard & Poor's and the French central bank governor on Tuesday.
"Given the high and still increasing debt and the fact that the deadline to correct the excessive deficit is postponed again, [to 2015], it is all the more important that the 2013 budget is strictly implemented and substantial consolidation efforts are firmly pursued in subsequent years," the Commission said.