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Business Europe

EU to tackle swelling budget deficits in six states

Video by Fiona CAMERON

Latest update : 2009-02-19

The European Commission will consider six cases of deficit overrun, including France, as the economic crisis takes it toll on public coffers. The EU's executive arm said it would use the "full flexibility" available due to the exceptional situation.

AFP - The European Commission on Wednesday took the first move to tackle swelling budget deficits in six EU states, including France, Ireland and Spain, as the economic crisis takes it toll on public coffers.

But the EU executive arm said it would use the "full flexibility" available to consider the six cases of deficit overrun due to the "exceptional circumstances" engendered by the US-born crisis that has hit bank lending and consumer spending, putting jobs and businesses at risk.

France, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Malta and Spain were named as the countries that have failed to keep their public deficits to under three percent of gross domestic product in 2008 as required by the EU's Stability and Growth Pact.

Therefore the Commission "adopted excessive deficit reports" on each of the six, the first move toward seeking more fiscal rigour with the threat of penalties for laggards.

Date created : 2009-02-18

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