18 April 2005
BRUSSELS – Belgian Budget Minister Johan Vande Lanotte has expressed confidence about plugging a hole in the country’s ballooning federal budget deficit, estimated at EUR 300 million to EUR 600 million.
“If all existing measures are properly put into place … we will without a doubt not need any new measures,” Lanotte said on ahead of a budgetary control committee meeting on unday afternoon at Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt’s official residence in Brussels.
“We are starting with a bonus,” he added, citing largely sound fiscal balance sheets and policies.
Interior Minister Patrick Dewael was also upbeat about closing the budgetary gap via existing reforms and an upswing in economic activity in the country.
Both Lanotte and Dewael insisted that balancing the budget was of primary importance.
But Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx warned that that this would be very difficult.
She spoke ahead of the meeting, which focused on primary expenses and was intended to take a miscroscope to the budgets of every Belgian regional government.
The committee’s work continued on Monday, when Finance Minister Didier Reynders arrived back from an International Monetary Fund meeting in Washington, D.C.
Vande Lanotte, Reynders, Onkelinx and Dewael are all deputy prime ministers.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject : Belgian news