Italy given till March to progress budget deficit cuts

(AGI) Brussels, Dec 8 - Italy, France and Belgium have beengiven an extra three months to make progress on reducing theirbudget deficit and debt, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloemsaid after a 2015 draft budget meeting on Monday. This willgive the countries more time to adopt additional measures tocomply with the terms of the Stability and Growth Pact. Italywill be required to improve its structural deficit by 0.5percent in 2015, higher than the latest European Commissionassessment of 0.1 percent. The Eurogroup statement said that onthis basis, efficacious measures would be needed to improve

(AGI) Brussels, Dec 8 - Italy, France and Belgium have beengiven an extra three months to make progress on reducing theirbudget deficit and debt, Eurogroup chief Jeroen Dijsselbloemsaid after a 2015 draft budget meeting on Monday. This willgive the countries more time to adopt additional measures tocomply with the terms of the Stability and Growth Pact. Italywill be required to improve its structural deficit by 0.5percent in 2015, higher than the latest European Commissionassessment of 0.1 percent. The Eurogroup statement said that onthis basis, efficacious measures would be needed to improvestructural effort. The 18 eurozone finance ministers welcomedItaly's commitment to implementing the measures necessary forensuring the 2015 budget respects the rules of the preventivearm of the Stability and Growth Pact. Italy's decision to userevenue windfalls in 2015 met with approval, as did itscommitment to accelerating privatisation efforts with a view tocutting the debt/GDP ratio, its commitment to tacklingstructural economic weaknesses and to encouraging theactivation of an ambitious raft of wide-ranging reforms, asdescribed in a letter to the Commission dated Nov. 21. (AGI) .