December 10, 2018 / 8:03 PM / 7 months ago

EU is closely monitoring France's new budget measures: Dombrovskis

European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis attends a news conference in Brussels, Belgium, November 21, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - The European Commission is monitoring the budget impact of possible new fiscal measures to be introduced by the French government, the vice president of the EU executive said on Monday.

“We are monitoring closely the potential new measures being announced, but we cannot comment before they are properly announced and detailed,” Valdis Dombrovskis told EU lawmakers.

His remarks came as French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to cut taxes for pensioners and raise the minimum wage in January, after a wave of protests against him.

Dombrovskis said that under EU fiscal recommendations France was required to reduce its 2019 structural deficit, which excludes one-off measures, by 0.6 percent of gross domestic product. He added that the French government was committed to a 0.2 percent structural improvement.

Because of this partial compliance with EU recommendations, the French budget for next year had been already judged at risk of non-compliance by the EU Commission last month, before the planned additional expansionary measures.

Dombrovskis said the French case was different from Italy’s. Rome is facing the risk of a disciplinary procedure for its excessive debt.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio in Brussels; editing by Andrew Roche

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