EU Commission: Studying Target Changes For France, Spain, Portugal

The European Commission is reviewing budget deficit targets for France, Portugal and Spain and will decide whether or not to grant an extension in May when new data is available, a spokesman for the Commission said on Tuesday.

The list of countries is not new and may not be exhaustive as it will depend partly on new economic data and forecasts, the spokesman stated.

In the case of France, which has pleaded for an easing of its target on several occasions, the spokesman said that the Commission would study the country's structural deficit and examine plans for new budgetary measures and structural reforms under preparation.

Should the Eurozone's second largest economy, which is set to miss its 3% target for this year, get an extra year to rein in its public deficit, the Commission would expect it to bring the deficit "clearly below" 3% in 2014, the spokesman said.

Although the Commission is looking at the case of Spain, it is not engaged in any negotiations on the matter with Madrid, the spokesman said.

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