Thursday, June 20, 2024
 
 

Commission says Portugal fails to meet EU fiscal targets

EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND
European Commissioner in charge of Economy Paolo Gentiloni during a swearing-in ceremony in front of the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg, 13 January 2020. Members of the Commission are pledging to respect the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, to carry out their responsibilities in complete independence and in the general interest of the Union.

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The EU Commission told Portugal that its draft budget for 2020 was at risk of breaking EU fiscal rules because of insufficient progress in reducing its structural deficit.
Even though the country’s debt is falling, it is not enough and its budget is expected to be in deficit in 2019 and in 2020.
Seven other countries were also found to be at risk of breaking EU rules, after an assessment of the budgets of eurozone members.
The situation is, however, particularly disgraceful for Portugal, whose finance minister Mario Centeno is the head of Eurogroup, the Union’s body that consists of the finance ministers of the eurozone.
“The Commission is of the opinion that the updated Draft Budgetary Plan of Portugal is at risk of non-compliance with the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact”, said EU Commissioner in charge of economy, Paolo Gentiloni.
The Commission told Portugal to balance its structural budget, explaining that its structural balance was at “risk of significant deviation from the required adjustment towards the medium-term budgetary objective in 2019 and 2020”.
Eurozone countries that do not meet the fiscal targets can be fined.

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