EU hails lower German budget deficit

11th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 January 2007, Brussels (dpa) - The European Commission on Thursday welcomed lower-than-expected German budget deficit figures for 2006, saying it was "good news" that Berlin's deficit last year stood at 2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) instead of 2.3 per cent of GDP as anticipated. Commission spokeswoman Amelia Torres said preliminary figures for Germany released by Eurostat, the European Union statistical agency, confirmed the bloc's decision to end deficit reprimand procedures against Berlin

11 January 2007

Brussels (dpa) - The European Commission on Thursday welcomed lower-than-expected German budget deficit figures for 2006, saying it was "good news" that Berlin's deficit last year stood at 2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) instead of 2.3 per cent of GDP as anticipated.

Commission spokeswoman Amelia Torres said preliminary figures for Germany released by Eurostat, the European Union statistical agency, confirmed the bloc's decision to end deficit reprimand procedures against Berlin.

EU calls for corrective budgetary action by Berlin would formally end in "the coming months," Torres said.

However, the commission still expected Berlin - and other countries in the bloc - to take further action to rein in their budget deficits to ensure "balanced" finances, she said.

EU rules demand that governments keep their budget deficits under 3 per cent of GDP. Failure to meet such standards can trigger EU punitive action, including fines against governments.

Germany has been in breach of the 3 per cent of GDP standard for several years running, prompting the commission to call for formal excessive deficit procedures against Berlin.

But EU action was suspended last year after Berlin vowed tougher action to bring down the budget deficit.

DPA

Subject: German news

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