Extracts from the press conference by Olli Rehn, on the Autumn Fiscal Package 2013
Type: Summary of press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 15 November 2013, Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, gave a press conference on the autumn budgetary surveillance package announcements presented by the European Commission.
It covers 13 euro area Member States and 3 non-euro Member States, with a special focus also on the euro area as an economic entity in its own right. For the first time, the Commission has issued opinions on euro area Member States' Draft Budgetary Plans. Assessments have also been published regarding compliance with Council recommendations under the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP), potential breaches of the debt and deficit criteria under the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), and on certain Member States' plans for structural reforms with a budgetary impact outlined in their Economic Partnership Programmes (EPP).
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the Berlaymont building in Brussels, Belgium
||Arrival of Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro, to the press conference on the Autumn Fiscal Package 2013
||Soundbite by Olli Rehn (in ENGLISH): The moderate recovery is continuing on the basis of the Flash estimate of Eurostat published yesterday for the third quarter of this year and the structural recovery is currently underway in Europe and it will continue with a moderate acceleration over the next two years. On the basis of yesterday's Flash estimate, we have visible signs that the economic rebalancing in Europe is proceeding. The economies of Spain and Portugal have moved into positive growth territory. Yesterday, we welcomed the Eurogroup's confirmation that Spain and Ireland will exit their financial assistance programmes on time and according to plan.
||General view of the audience
||Soundbite by Olli Rehn (in ENGLISH): Much has been done in this field at the height of the crisis 2 years ago in 2011; there were only 3 Member States out of the excessive deficit procedure. Currently, there are 12 Member States out of the EDP and I'm sure there will be more out of the EDP next spring when we assess next time fiscal policy. According to our autumn forecast, the nominal deficit ratio to GDP will be reduced below the 3% threshold next year and remain below it in 2015. At the same time, the debt-to-GDP ratio is now expected to peak and stabilise in 2014 next year at about 90% in the EU and 96% in Euro area.
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Olli Rehn (in ENGLISH): Firstly, we have assessed the Draft Budgetary Plans of the thirteen euro area countries not under a programme. Secondly, six euro area countries had also received a new EDP recommendation in June, so the timing of this assessment of effective action coincides with our assessment of the draft budgetary plans: for Belgium, France, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Spain. In addition, we have assessed whether effective action has been taken by Poland. Thirdly, in June, the Council asked five Member States to submit Economic Partnership Programmes, which set out plans for structural reforms with a budgetary impact. They are now a requirement for euro area countries receiving new EDP deadlines. These five countries are Malta, for which a new excessive deficit procedure was opened in June, as well as Spain, France, the Netherlands and Slovenia, which were granted additional years – until 2014 or beyond – to correct their excessive deficits. Finally, for three countries, we had to look at the reasons for a breach of the debt or deficit criteria of the Pact, namely Lithuania, Croatia and Finland.
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Olli Rehn (in ENGLISH): In some budget plans there is no margin for any slippage. In others, we see risks that the implementation of the plan could lead to non-compliance down the line over the year. It would be to the benefit of the country concerned to take our opinion into account in the on-going budgetary process, to ensure meeting its fiscal targets.
||Cutaway of the speakers