Thursday, February 14, 2008

Romania Plays Down Budget Deficit

13 February 2008
Bucharest _ The European Commission will not take steps against Romania, despite an excessive budget deficit predicted for 2008, the country's Finance Minister said Wednesday.

Varujan Vosganian said he assured the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Joaquin Almunia, that Romania's budget deficit this year would be lower than in 2007, by cutting some expenses.

Last year, the deficit was 2.4% of GDP according to the Romanian authorities. The European Commission, EC, however uses another calculation system, called ESA 95, which showed that the Romanian deficit budget was as high as 2.6% - 2.7%.

The country's budget this year forecasts a deficit of 2.7%, but EC calculations show that the deficit will exceed 3% of GDP in 2008 and 2009.

The EC can impose penalties under the Excessive Deficit Procedure, against EU members that fail to achieve a budget deficit lower then 3% of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP.

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