EU's Rehn says reforms should precede more time for deficit cuts

LUXEMBOURG, June 19 Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:05pm EDT

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LUXEMBOURG, June 19 (Reuters) - European governments should first get structural reforms under way and only afterwards expect to be granted more time to reduce their budget deficits to within European Union limits, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said.

"You have to make sure that these economic reforms really happened, decided and even implemented even before you move to extending correction deadline of excessive deficits," Rehn told a news conference after a finance ministers' meeting.

"I would be in favour of looking into this interrelation between fiscal consolidation and structural reforms, but only so that we can first verify that structural reforms are really moving forward and then see if this would justify some extension in correction deadline of excessive deficit," he said. (Reporting Annika Breidthardt and Martin Santa, writing by Jan Strupczewski)

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