EU Commission urges more action on deficit and debt reduction from Italy, France

The Associated Press

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso answers questions from journalists during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels Monday, June 2, 2014. The European Commission, on Monday, adopted a series of economic policy recommendations to individual Member States. The recommendations are based on detailed analyses of each country's situation and provide guidance on how to boost growth, increase competitiveness and create jobs in 2014-2015. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

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BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission, acting as the 28-nation bloc's economic watchdog, is urging Italy and France to do more to bring their debt under control and push ahead with structural reforms to promote growth.

Monday's recommendations come just a week after the European Parliament elections, in which Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's center-left party mustered strong support partly by calling for more leeway from Brussels'-dictated economic policies.

France's governing Socialists took a beating in the elections and are now facing the balancing act of complying with tough economic policy constraints while restoring the government's popularity.

The Commission called on Italy to "reinforce budgetary measures" this year to reduce its debt pile and urged France to detail its measures to ensure "the correction of the excessive deficit" this and next year.

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