European finance ministers on Tuesday approved a controversial two-year extension for France to get its deficit within the bloc's limits, despite accusations that bigger member states are treated more leniently than smaller ones.
They formally accepted assessments by the European Commission, the executive arm of the 28-member European Union, of the national budgets of member states including the reprieve for France.
"France needs to step up its efforts both on fiscal and structural reforms... We are putting France under tight deadlines," European Commission vice president for the euro Valdis Dombrovskis said after the ministerial talks.
European Commission - Fact Sheet
Commission welcomes Council discussion on European Semester reports and adoption of a recommendation to France