A budget that will save face for Europe
On March 30, the Belgian government announced an additional €1.43bn of savings in 2013, which will rein in the public spending deficit to 2.4 per cent of GDP, and enable the country to achieve its EU budget targets.
|La Libre Belgique|
The plan had been demanded by the European Commission in response to Belgium's request to waive its 2.15 per cent deficit target for this year. The cuts will be achieved by reducing the number of civil servants, notably in the Ministry of Defence. Additional revenues will also be generated by raising the prices of tobacco and health care services.
However, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy dampened enthusiasm for the initiative when he told the weekly De Zondag that savings in recent years had not been "very impressive".
Read this article in Dutch.