The European Commission has launched disciplinary measures against six EU countries for exceeding budget deficit limits.France, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Latvia and Malta all posted budget deficits of more than 3% of GDP last year, breaking a key threshold under the EU’s Growth and Stability pact. However, Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said he would take into account the “exceptional circumstances” due to the global economic crisis. Normally, nations that exceed the EU’s budget rules have a year to wipe out debts, but this time they may get up to four years.
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