Eurozone deficit to fall below 3.0%: Trichet
The eurozone's collective public deficit should fall below 3.0 percent of output by 2013, European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet said on Friday, an event that would represent a milestone in reining in swollen national budgets.
"Recent forecasts indicate that the euro area as a whole is on track to bring the deficit to GDP ratio below the 3.0 percent reference value by 2013 and to stop the adverse debt dynamics caused by the financial crisis," Trichet told a banking conference in Frankfurt.
Eurozone countries are supposed to maintain public deficits of no more than 3.0 percent and work towards a balance or even a surplus in times of economic growth.
But almost all have exceeded that level owing to public spending aimed at buffering economies from the effects of the global economic crisis.
Countries such as Greece, Ireland and Portugal are struggling in particular to cut their deficits, while eurozone powerhouse Germany has passed legislation that requires the government to essentially eliminate its own by 2016.
© 2011 AFP