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EU Leans On France to Meet Deficit Goals

European ministers pressure Paris to meet budgetary deadlines. Meanwhile, the Commission stays optimistic regarding a possible recession

Ministers from eurozone countries have asked France to keep committed to an original deadline of 2010 for balancing its budgetary deficit, but indicated they would take into account the country's growth records in later evaluation.

Despite French pressure to avoid any reference to the deficit timetable adopted by member states of Europe's monetary union last April in Berlin, finance ministers of the 15-strong group agreed on Monday (11 February) to demand Paris achieve it.