EU countries 'allowed' to slow pace of austerity cuts

Some EU member states will be allowed to reduce their pace of austerity cuts, amid concerns over growth, The European Commission has said.

Spain, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands and Slovenia are all being given more time to complete their austerity plans.

France will also get two more years to bring its budget deficit below 3% of GDP.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso Credit: Reuters

Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said the measures as part country-specific recommendations must be "used wisely" to lift competitiveness.