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European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici regretted efforts "below what is recommended". Aris OIKONOMOU / AFP

The European Commission has published its autumn economic forecast on Wednesday 20 November. Even if the European Union continues to grow, the prospects are not extremely bright.

With our correspondent in Brussels, Pierre Benazet

" The road looks difficult, " summarize the European commissioners in charge of economic affairs. Between the Brexit, the weakness of the industrial sector, the commercial conflicts and the geopolitical tensions, the future could be difficult for the European economy, warns Brussels.

If the European economy continues its growth for the seventh consecutive year since the exit of the crisis of 2008, this one remains weak. In addition, for both 2019 and 2020, the European Commission had to slightly reduce its initial forecasts for the euro area with respective growth of 1.1% and then 1.2% of GDP.

Only nine countries, including Germany, the Netherlands and Greece, have tabled a 2020 budget proposal that is fully in line with EU rules. Eight others, including Finland, are warned that their budget forecasts may drive them off the nail.

Four countries are particularly singled out for the increase in their deficit and their debt: France, Italy, Spain and Portugal. As for Italy, the huge debt exceeds 136% of GDP and the public deficit will come next year close to the ceiling of 3% of gross domestic product. Regarding France, even if the figures are lower, the finding is the same: a public deficit of 2.2% and a debt that should exceed 99% next year. The Commission calls on Paris, Rome, Madrid and Lisbon to reduce their debt and control their public spending.