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According to Eurostat, in 2007 the total budget deficit of the euro area countries halved – to 0.6% of GDP.
Three years ago, the budget deficit of the largest economies in the region, such as France or Germany, exceeded 3% of GDP allowed by the Maastricht agreements. But the violators made efforts to stabilize state finances.
“Today, there are no countries left in the euro area whose budget deficit would exceed 3% of GDP,” said the representative of the European Commission. “If our spring report on the state of the economy confirms this, the sanctions process against the two countries of the euro zone, Portugal and Italy, will be terminated.”
Germany, the leading economy of the euro area, already in 2006 fit into the EU norms (the deficit was 1.6%), and in the past it reduced the deficit to zero. Spain has a surplus budget (+ 2.2%).
The Italian budget deficit in 2007 alone turned out to be less than 3% of GDP (1.9%). The eurozone’s second largest economy, France, has stayed within, despite an increase (up to 2.7%)
However, it is too early to celebrate the victory. The size of the public debt of the euro area countries is an equally important indicator of the stability of the euro. In seven countries of the region, it exceeds the allowed 60% of GDP, while Italy’s debt does – 102% of the gross product of the country.