Greece cannot be directly sanctioned for providing false economic data ahead of joining the eurozone.
That is the verdict of Joaquin Almunia, the European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. The Spaniard has been facing a European Parliament hearing after his nomination to continue in the same post in the next commission. Almunia’s comments came a fortnight after a government audit in Greece showed the previous administration had supplied incorrect data about the budget deficit. Almunia said Greece could face sanctions such as the suspension of structural aid if its debt rises above the 3 per cent of GDP rule contained in the Stability and Growth Pact.