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The European Commission calls on the eurozone countries not to exceed the allowable threshold of the budget deficit, despite the crisis times. Compliance with this rule is a necessary condition for the existence of the euro.
A significant excess of the budget deficit threshold is unacceptable, the European Commission believes and calls on the eurozone countries, despite the financial and economic crisis, not to undermine the conditions for the common European currency.
According to the terms of the Stability and Economic Development Pact of the Eurozone countries, the budget deficit should not exceed 3% of GDP.
This rule was somewhat relaxed in the program to stabilize the economy, adopted by the European Commission on November 26, 2008. EU member states were allowed to slightly exceed the budget deficit threshold. However, this exemption is valid only if it is only slightly and for a short time – up to one year – exceeds the permissible limit.
According to the European Commission, in 2008, five EU countries – Ireland, Spain, Greece, France and Malta – exceeded the permissible budget deficit threshold. In the coming year, Brussels expects a further increase in this indicator in the eurozone countries.