Eight eurozone countries under EU budget hammer
The planned fiscal adjustments of Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Finland, Slovenia, Cyprus and Lithuania are at risk of falling short of what is required, the Commission said on Wednesday.
According to euro regulations, all the member-states have to keep their budget deficits at or below three percent of GDP.
Ireland, France, Austria, Latvia and Malta are “broadly compliant” with the rules, while Germany, Estonia, Netherlands, Slovakia and Luxembourg are fully compliant, according to the body.
Being under a separately governed bailout program, Greece isn’t affected by the Commission’s review.
The EC expressed concerns that slow growth and increased uncertainty evoked by such factors as Britain's exit from the bloc and the results of the US presidential elections are having a significant impact on the eurozone.
“Those that can afford it need to invest more, while those which have less fiscal space should pursue reforms and growth-friendly fiscal consolidation,” said the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
Aiming to support recovery, the Commission will reportedly allow member-states an extra 0.5 percentage point breathing space on their budget deficits next year. The Treaty on European Union obliges eurozone countries to keep to a three percent limit on budget deficits and 60 percent on public debt.
Earlier this month, Spain and Portugal managed to avoid fines for failing to reach budget deficit cutting goals after the Council of the European Union set new fiscal policy “paths” for each country.