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European Union Threatens France, Italy, Belgium With Sanctions Over Bloated Budget

The European Union has threatened to impose sanctions on France, Italy, and Belgium should they fail to bring their bloated budgets under the ceiling allowed by the EUOn Friday, the bloc gave the three an extra three months until March to fix their budgets. This is the third time France is being offered an opportunity to address overspending by tailoring its budget to the EU’s budget deficit cap, which is three percent of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The European Commission (EC), the EU’s executive arm, has predicted that the country’s deficit will stand at 4.5 percent of GDP next year.

"I made a choice not to sanction because that would have been easy," EC President Jean-Claude Juncker told journalists from a group of European newspapers. However, EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici stressed that "all possibilities" will be on the table when Paris' budget plans are reviewed in March without ruling out sanctions. "The commission will, of course, be extremely demanding," said Moscovici. Authorities in France, Italy and Belgium have promised to implement economic overhauls to shore up their public finances. So far, no country in the eurozone, which groups 18 countries, has come under sanction for failing to respect the EU's deficit target.

Culled from Presstv

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