The European Commission on Tuesday said France, Italy and Portugal were in violation of EU rules on public spending and would be more closely monitored by Brussels.
In a statement the commission, the EU's executive arm, pointed to France's "large public debt coupled with deteriorated productivity growth".
It also singled out Italy's "high government debt" along with a worrying levels of long-term unemployment that "weighs on growth prospects". In all five countries, including Bulgaria and Croatia, were found to be experiencing "excessive imbalances" in the EU.
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