Crisis: EU extends deficit-reduction deadlines for 3 members

France, Portugal and Spain only, EU Commission says

02 April, 15:40

(ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, APRIL 2 - The EU Commission will only grant deficit-reduction extensions to France, Portugal and Spain, a commission spokesperson told reporters on Tuesday.

''Along with the Eurogroup, we are evalua(Economics) Commissioner Olli Rehn said, we are flexible with regards to France and Spain, and President (Jose Manuel) Barroso indicated the same for Portugal. We have no intention of considering any other country for an extension'', the official said.

The final decision will be made after Eurostat releases its 2012 deficit numbers on April 22, the EU releases its spring economic forecast, and the EU-27 member states submit their budgets and planned reforms at the end of April.

To get an extension, France will have to bring its structural 2010-2013 deficit down by 1% and commit to bringing its nominal deficit ''well below 3%'' in 2014, the official said. ''The EU is not negotiating with Madrid. We will decide whether to grant Spain an extension and for how long'' based on the same deadlines as those valid for France and the rest of the 27 member states, the spokesperson explained.

Italy, which has not made a formal request for an extension, might make it off the excessive deficit list should the April 22 Eurostat report confirm its 2.9% 2012 deficit, and if its deficit forecast remains under 3% for the next two years.



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