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EU ministers grapple with new debt rules

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EU ministers grapple with new debt rules

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Europe’s finance ministers have been meeting to thrash out the details of the EU budget rules reforms.

Dubbed the Task Force, they are finalising penalties for rule breakers, and are seeking to emphasise the importance of keeping debt levels low.

However progress is slow and impatience is growing as the end of October deadline is looming.

One idea is to freeze EU funds to those breaking the three percent of GDP budget defict limit, and the 60 percent debt ceiling. However that could mean the EU parliament of all 27 members making decisions through its overall joint decision making role in the EU budget affecting the soon-to-be 17 eurozone members.

Nine EU members have also asked for pension reform costs to be excluded from any deficit ruling. There is also unease about being seen to punish European consumers for the budget policies of their governments.