Friday

16th Nov 2018

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.

Italy defiant on budget on eve of EU deadline

Italy would be committing economic "suicide" if it fell in line with EU rules, its deputy leader has said, in a sign that Rome has little intention of bowing to pressure ahead of Tuesday's budget deadline.

Greek austerity violated right to health, says watchdog

Cuts in the Greek health care system, following the austerity cuts demanded in return for international bailouts, have violated the European Social Charter on the right to health, says Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, Dunja Mijatovic.

Analysis

Salvini is gambling with core voters' future in budget battle

Businesses in northern Italy are anxiously watching the standoff between the European Commission and the Italian government. They used to be the 'Northern League's' most important electorate - but the party's profile and priorities have changed.

EU commission eyes majority tax rules

The commission plans to address tax avoidance schemes in some EU states by shifting tax decisions away from unanimity to a majority system in what amounts to a long shot.

EU commission rejects Italy's budget plans

The EU executive has asked Italy to resubmit its budget in an unprecedented rebuke, while warning Rome that public debt was the "enemy of the people".

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