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Greece And Hungary To Face EC Proceedings Over Euro Rules Violations

by Ulrika Lomas, for LawAndTax-News.com, Brussels

23 December 2004


According to reports in the European media this week, the EC is planning to launch disciplinary proceedings against Hungary and Greece over their failure to remain below the 3% of GDP budget deficit limit put in place by the Stability and Growth Pact.

In November, Greek Finance Minister Giorgios Alogoskoufis admitted that since it joined the single currency, the country's budget deficit had been larger than permitted by the Pact, despite the government's dissemination of information to the contrary.

According to reports at the time, speaking in Athens, Mr Alogoskoufis announced that: "It was proven that for no year, from 1999 on, and afterwards, had the deficit fallen below three percent."

Bank of Greece governor, Nicholas Garganas attempted to excuse the Greek authorities following the revelation, arguing that the country had been subjected to tougher accounting rules than many of its fellow eurozone members.

The EC also rejected plans put forward by the Portuguese government to keep its deficit down by selling state property, leading Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes to hint at the existence of a safety net measure, set to be unveiled today.


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