22nd Apr 2019

Euro partners angry over relaxed budget discipline

A number of Eurozone member states have reacted in anger to a proposal from the EU Commission to relax the implementation of the Eurozone Stability and Growth Pact. Their demand of balanced budgets by 2004, was postponed 2 years till 2006 in a report on "Budgetary Challenges in the Euro Area" presented on Tuesday by EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Pedro Solbes.

Spain said that the decision was not alone for the Commission to take. "With all due respect to the Commission, that is a decision that it cannot take on its own," said the Spanish economy minister, Rodrigo Rato, according to the Guardian.

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Also the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium have reacted with dismay. There argue Brussels is now rewarding Eurozone members having not lived up to the standards.

The Austrians were unhappy. "A two-tier system with large Euro states that don't have budget discipline and small states that maintain discipline would be unacceptable," argued Karl-Heinz Grasser, the Austrian Finance Minister, according to the Guardian.

Next chance for the Eurozone ministers to discuss the proposal will be at their meeting on the 8 October.


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