8th Mar 2021

Germany's budget deficit rises to 4 percent

New figures released on Tuesday (24 August) show that Germany is on course to breach the EU's strict budget rules for the third year in a row. Its public deficit soared to four percent of gross domestic product in the first six months of this year.

The German government had already predicted a budget deficit of 3.5% for this year, the third year in a row that it has exceeded the 3% limit set by the EU's growth and stability pact.

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  • (Photo: European Commission)

A separate report from the Federal statistics office showed that German economic growth has picked up in the second quarter, driven by strong demand for exports.

The German economy grew by 0.5% in the three months to the end of June from the previous quarter.

Exports rose 3.2 percent from the first quarter, while domestic demand unexpectedly fell 0.1 percent in the same period, reports Bloomberg.

The statistics also show that there was only a small increase in private and public consumption in Europe's largest economy and that there was a decline in construction and capital investment.

Bank of France

Meanwhile, the Bank of France is seeking restrictions on exceptional budgetary measures that member states use to reduce their public deficits, according to AFP

In its August monthly bulletin, the central bank called for "an improved framework on exceptional budgetary measures".

The central bank warned that use of exceptional measures "cannot substitute for efforts in budgetary structural reform ... in fact only delays them several years, at the risk of giving the illusion that the deterioration of the public finances is being limited and to make, in this situation, the unavoidable adjustment more difficult to the countries concerned".

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The European Commission and member states were both claiming victory on Tuesday in their battle over the rules underpinning the euro after the European Court of Justice appeared to give a clear ruling in favour of the Commission.

Luxembourg tax scandal may prompt EU action

An investigation into Luxembourg's tax regime has uncovered how the Italian mafia, the Russian underworld, and billionaires attempt to stash away their wealth. The European Commission has put itself on standby amid suggestions changes to EU law may be needed.


Portugal vs Germany clash on EU corporate tax avoidance

Portugal's taking over the EU presidency puts the tax transparency law for corporations - which has been fought over for years - to a vote in the Council of Ministers. The resistance of the German government has failed.

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