BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Euro zone finance ministers told France on Monday to take additional budgetary consolidation steps to reduce its structural deficit in line with EU budget rules.
European finance ministers asked Paris in June 2013 to reduce its structural deficit, which strips out the effects of the business cycle and one-off items, in 2014 and 2015 by 0.8 percent of GDP each year.
France, however, is likely to have reduced the deficit only by 0.1 percent this year and plans a 0.3 percent reduction in 2015, which might mean the Commission would fine Paris when it assesses compliance in early March 2015.
"We agree with the Commission's assessment that the Draft Budgetary Plan is at risk of non-compliance with the rules of the corrective arm of the SGP," euro zone finance ministers said in a statement.
"Additional measures would be needed to allow for an improvement of the structural effort in order to comply with the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP)," they said.
Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop