EU Gives Romania Until 2012 To Correct Budget GapPublish date: 09-02-2010
The European Commission on Monday recommended Romania be given until 2012 to bring its budget deficit down to 3% of the gross domestic product, in light of the country's "effective" corrective measures taken so far.
The deadline extension will be discussed at the next Ecofin meeting on February 16, the Commission said in a statement. "Romania has made a serious effort to limit the deterioration of its budget deficit and to preserve macro-economic stability during the past year. The worsening of the economic situation since the initial recommendations were made justifies extending the deadline by one year," said Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.
"But the consolidation effort must continue," he added. Last year, the Commission recommended the excessive procedure be launched against Romania, due to a budget gap above 3% of GDP in 2008. The eastern European country was given until 2011 to lower its deficit.
However, in view of a "sharper-than-expected recession in 2009," the Commission revised its recommendations and proposed a one-year extension to the deadline.
"Romania reduced the public wage bill and cut public expenditure on goods and services in 2009, in line with the recommendation. The 2010 budget also includes a package of measures cutting expenditure by around 2% of GDP and raising revenue by around 0.5% of GDP," the Commission said.
"Taking into account these different actions, it can be concluded that Romania has taken effective action as required by the recommendation," it added. In 2010, Romania pledged to bring the budget deficit down to 5.9% of GDP, from a gap estimated at 7.3% of GDP in the last year.
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