European Union finance ministers have granted France an extra two years to bring its budget deficit below 3% of GDP, as mandated by EU regulations.
The move, which was widely expected, is the third extension France has been granted since 2009.
France’s budget deficit is expected to be 4.1% of GDP this year, as it struggles with high unemployment.
Critics have warned that the extensions undermine the EU’s market credibility.
In a statement  announcing the extension, the ministers found “that extending the deadline for correcting the deficit was justified by the fiscal effort made by France since 2013, and by the current weak economic conditions and other factors.”
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