EU Commission could consider giving France more time on deficit

BRUSSELS Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:03am EST

The European Union's Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn speaks with participants after giving a speech in Moscow February 15, 2013. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

The European Union's Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn speaks with participants after giving a speech in Moscow February 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission is considering giving France more time to bring its budget deficit below EU limits and will likely decide in May, the EU's top economic official said on Friday.

"In France, the recovery is now expected to be delayed, which has repercussions on public finances and we now expect a deficit of 3.7 percent of GDP this year," EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told a briefing.

Rehn said if the Commission's studies show France has made a big enough effort on its structural deficit, it would get until 2014 to meet the 3 percent target, rather than this year. "We shall revisit this matter in May," Rehn said.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott and Jan Strupczewski; editing by Rex Merrifield)

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Find your dream retirement town

Florida? Hawaii? Reuters has teamed up with Zillow to give you the power to customize a list of your best places to retire.  Video | Full Article