Zalm pours cold water on deficit optimism

13th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

13 August 2004, AMSTERDAM — Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm has moved to quash speculation the Netherlands' budget deficit would this year end well under 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

13 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm has moved to quash speculation the Netherlands' budget deficit would this year end well under 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

On 10 August, a leak from the government's macroeconomic think-tank CPB suggested the annual deficit would be 2.8 percent of GDP. 

The CPB also forecast, according to the leak, that the deficit would be 2.6 and 2.7 in the coming years.

The Netherlands is obliged under the Stability Pact which underpins the strength of the euro to keep its annual deficit below 3 percent. 

The government committed itself in 2003 to billions of euros in spending cuts to reign in the deficit under 3 percent by 2008.

Responding to the leak of the latest CPB figures, Zalm warned on Friday that there were still a number of possible negative factors on the horizon. But he did not say what they were, NOS Nieuws reported.

The Cabinet met on Friday but decided not to discuss its plans for the budget which will be presented on Prinsjesdag, or Prince's Day, in September. Instead the ministers in charge of key departments will meet on Tuesday.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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