The European Commission gives euro zone member states extra time to cut deficits, but demands structural reforms in exchange.
"We recommend for Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal an extension by one year and for France, Poland, Slovenia and Spain an extension by two years," European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn said.
"In return it is crucial, indeed essential, that France use this additional time to tackle its underlying problems of economic competitiveness. As outlined in the country-specific recommendations, France should further reduce the cost of labour, especially through reducing social security contributions," he added.
"This extra time should be used wisely, to address France's failing competitiveness as French companies' market shares have experienced worrying erosion in the last decade, in fact, beyond the last decade, you can say the last twenty years. More over, in view of the continued increase in the government debt, which already exceeds 90 percent of GDP, the 2013 budget needs to be strictly implemented and consolidation efforts firmly pursued in the years to come. That is why France needs to further improve efficiency of its public expenditure," European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso said.