May 3 - EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn says Slovenia can avoid a bailout if it acts quickly to curb debt, while France is given an extra two years to cut its deficit. Rough cut only, no reporter narration.
ROUGH CUT ONLY, NO REPORTER NARRATION The EU's top economic official, Olli Rehn says Slovenia will not need a financial bailout if it reacts quickly to bring down its budget deficit, although EU goals remain out of reach in the near term. "Slovenia's economic situation is still manageable provided that decisive action is taken, without unnecessary delay, to reverse this negative economic trend which concerns both the banking sector and public finances," he told a news conference. Rehn said Slovenia may get more time to reach EU budget targets if it presents a reform strategy to deal with the 7 billion euros ($9.15 billion) of bad loans in its financial sector. Meanwhile France is likely to get two more years to reach its budget deficit goals, after Rehn described the French growth forecast as "overly optimistic." "In France, the recovery is now expected to be delayed," he told a news conference. "Considering the economic situation, it may be reasonable to extend the deadline by two years and to correct the excessive deficit at the latest by 2015 in France." Similar leeway is set to be given to Spain, Rehn said, and there may be a year extra for the Netherlands and Slovenia to meet their budget deficit goals.