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Extracts from the press conference by Joaquín Almunia on stability and convergence programmes and on country-specific budgetary surveillance

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Following the assessment of their Stability and Convergence Programmes, the EC proposed deadlines for the correction of the budget deficits of Greece, Spain, France and Ireland that were already above 3% in 2008. The EC also proposed a new deadline for the correction of the excessive deficit in the UK. The deadlines proposed take account of the respective fiscal and macro-economic situations of the countries concerned. Once the recommendations have been adopted by the Council, the five countries will have six months to specify what measures they intend to take to progressively reduce the deficit. The Commission also examined the updated Stability Programme of Cyprus and found that the fiscal policy in 2009 will be rather expansionary. This should be reversed in the following years in view of the large external imbalances.
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Type: EbS   Reference: 62661   Date: 24/03/2009   Duration: 00:03:22
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