European commission Olli Rehn said in The Hague on Tuesday that the Netherlands may be allowed more time to get its deficit down to the eurozone norm of 3%.
Rehn was speaking after a meeting with Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
However, a breathing space would only be possible if economic growth continued to be elusive, news agency Novum reports.
The commissioner also repeated that the Netherlands needs to make additional savings of €6bn next year and that it should try and get its deficit down to 2.8%.
Dijsselbloem told the commissioner the country cannot follow that advice and it is already difficult enough to reach 3%.
Yesterday the Dutch central bank said spending needs to be cut by up to an additional €8bn.
The government is waiting for new forecasts from its macro-economic policy unit CPB, due on Friday.
Rehn is now meeting with prime minister Mark Rutte and will meet MPs later in the day.
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