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European fiscal discipline heats up

brussels bureau

European fiscal discipline heats up


The 27 EU finance ministers have been meeting urgently in Brussels on reforming economic policy coordination. They are looking at how to give their stability pact much more bite. EU Council President Herman van Rompuy led the first of three planned task force talks, after Germany had led calls to get strict.

Van Rompuy said: “In the past, corrective measures were taken too late. The available instruments were not used sufficiently. That’s why we need to act in a number of ways: in prevention and in correction, in the field of the budget and in that of competitiveness, in the eurozone and the European Union as a whole.”

Among the considerations for an EU effort to win back investors’ confidence in the euro are: national budgets being supervised by Brussels; no EU financial aid to countries with excessif deficits; and these countries would have their vote suspended in the EU policy-setting Council.

The danger of debt contagion in the 16-country euro zone has seriously destabilised the 11-year-old currency.

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