Statement by Amelia Torres, spokesperson of Joaquín Almunia, on the Euro area and the EU 27 government deficit

Type: Report   Reference: I-057114   Duration: 11:02:11  Lieu:
End production: 18/04/2008
In 2007, the government deficit of both the Euro area (EA15) and the EU27 fell compared with 2006, while the government debt increased in absolute terms. In the Euro area, the government deficit decreased from 1.3% of the GDP in 2006 to 0.6% in 2007, and in the EU27 it fell from 1.4% to 0.9%. In the Euro area, the government debt to GDP ratio fell from 68.4% at the end of 2006 to 66.3% at the end of 2007, and in the EU27 from 61.2% to 58.7%. In this news release, Eurostat is providing government deficit and debt data based on figures reported in the first 2008 notification by EU Member States for the years 2004-2007, for the application of the excessive deficit procedure (EDP). This notification is based on the ESA95 system of national accounts.

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10:58:20 Title 00:00:04
10:58:25 General view of the press briefing 00:00:06
10:58:31 Amelia Torres, spokesperson of Joaquín Almunia, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs, (in FRENCH) saying that the average deficit in 2007 was 0.6% in the Euro area; this is the best figure ever; it is true that in 2000 the figure was pretty good, but that year governments got some win from benefits generated by the sale of mobile phone licenses; if you exclude that temporary effect in 2000 that was more than 1% of GDP, if you exclude 2000, that is really the best result ever; if you want to compare, in the autumn forecast you can see that in 1990 average was 5% deficit 00:01:09
10:59:40 Cutaway 00:00:07
10:59:47 Amelia Torres (in FRENCH) saying that it is really quite remarkable this improvement in public finances since the beginning of the Economic and Monetary Union; there are very specific rules and the Commission has been carefully monitoring public finances; they revised the stability and growth pact in 2005 and this result demonstrates that the stability pact as reviewed is working and it is working particularly on corrections which produce very encouraging results 00:00:40
11:00:27 Cutaway 00:00:06
11:00:33 Amelia Torres (in FRENCH) saying that it is true that clearly some are far and have not reached 0% deficit; so their recommendation is that they should move towards balance and make progress on public accounts 00:00:20
11:00:53 Cutaway 00:00:06
11:00:59 Amelia Torres (in FRENCH) saying that no country of the Euro area has notified a deficit above 3%, so they are always bellow 3; so if this is confirmed in the spring forecast, the two countries subject to excessive deficit procedure, Portugal and Italy, will be able to have this procedure closed; and for the rest of the Union there is only one country with a deficit above 3%, and that is Hungary; so these are very encouraging developments that demonstrate that the EU and the Euro area have no current account deficit; this allows them to face this financial turmoil and the American slowdown with a certain degree of reassurance 00:01:12
11:02:11 Cutaway 00:00:06
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