Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

EU warns Italy and Spain on budgets

Italian Finance Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni, right, speaks with Danish Economy Minister Margrethe Vestager during a meeting of EU finance ministers (AP)

European Union officials have warned Spain and Italy that their budget plans risk breaching EU rules aimed at keeping deficits and debt under control.

For the first time, the EU's executive commission is reviewing draft budgets before national parliaments pass them. The review is aimed at preventing budget troubles from undermining the euro.

Italy, the No 3 economy in the 17-country eurozone, was cited on Friday for not sufficiently addressing its heavy debt load. Spain, the No 4 economy, was warned its deficit would breach the EU limit of 3% of annual economic output.

Smaller euro members Finland, Luxembourg and Malta were also warned.

The debt and deficit rules were toughened after government debt grew to unmanageable levels in several eurozone countries, threatening the currency union with break-up.

AP

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk