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Four more countries face EU deficit punishment

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Four more countries face EU deficit punishment

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The European Commission is to discipline Poland, Romania, Lithuania and Malta for letting their budget deficits rise too high.

It has already taken steps against France, Spain, Greece, Ireland and Latvia. Brussels believes Poland’s deficit will balloon to 6.6 percent of GDP this year, going even higher next year and damaging its chances of adopting the euro in 2012. Romania and Lithuania’s deficit are expected to be around five percent this year and grow after that. The Commission expects that the deficits of 21 of the EU’s 27 members will rise above the three percent of GDP limit as recession cuts government revenues and growth-boosting measures cost those countries more, but they are likely to be given generous deadlines to correct the fiscal shortfalls.