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EU tells Italy, France to up reforms, trim deficit

March 5, 2014

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission is warning Italy and France must do more to tackle their high levels of public debt and reform their economies to reduce the risk of being hit with financial market turbulence.

The 28-member bloc’s executive arm said in a report published Wednesday that France’s debt burden is rising and the country is projected to miss agreed debt reduction targets.

It says the high debt level in the bloc’s second-largest economy could result in market turmoil that would dent growth and risk spreading to the rest of the 18-country eurozone.

It says Italy’s new government must also show “decisive action” to tackle its debt burden and implement reforms to increase competitiveness “to reduce the risk of adverse effects on ... the Italian economy and of the eurozone.”

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