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Ecofin slams Greece for deficit

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Ecofin slams Greece for deficit

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EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels have given the green light for disciplinary action against Greece for violating the growth and stability pact. They were unanimous in their decision following a Commission recommendation they should increase pressure. Greece is in the firing line for its five per cent deficit, way above the three per cent ceiling stipulated in the pact.

The procedure could lead to sanctions if Greece doesn’t make amends over the next year – it would be a first time that happened. Hungary, too, although outside the euro zone, faces a similar disciplinary procedure. It won’t face sanctions though – that’s reserved to eurozone members only.

The finance ministers also said they were ready to take measures against Germany and France in the future, if necessary. They ratified a Commission decision to turn a blind eye to the two countries’ failure to meet targets as long as they do so this year.