EU news: Eight countries said there was no way to get to Brussels as bloc tries to impose new rules | Politics

EU news: Eight countries said there was no way to get to Brussels as bloc tries to impose new rules | Politics

Austria, Denmark, Latvia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden have dashed the EU’s dreams of easing the bloc’s deficit rules. Ahead of an informal meeting of their peers in Slovenia on Saturday, the countries released a document for the bloc.

A one-page document signed by their finance ministers said: “Reducing excessive debt ratios must remain a common goal.
” The [EU] The Treaty… obliges all Member States to avoid and correct excessive deficits. “

This should be a blow to France, Italy and Spain who have all said the rules should be adapted to post-pandemic realities and climate change.

As part of the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), it caps budget deficits at 3% of economic output.

It also limits public debt to 60%, according to Politico.
However, the framework has been widely criticized because it allows Brussels to circumvent the rules and avoid fining anyone who deviates from the benchmarks.

Berlin has opposed the relaxation of the rules, but after the chancellor’s elections this month, there could be a change in economic policies.

The Austria-led debt club has said it is open to change, but not the kind that Paris, Rome and Madrid are hoping for.

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“Discussions on improving the government’s current economic framework take a long time and should be based on broad consultations by the Commission.

“Quality is more important than speed. “

The EU Covid stimulus fund has been greeted with anger as the bloc wants to link the behavior of member states to access to funds through a ‘rule of law’ mechanism.

This means that any country which pursues policies which, according to the EU, do not respect its core values, will lose access to vital funds.

In November, Hungary and Poland blocked the EU budget on the rule of law issue.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said his country’s stance on the budget and the stimulus fund is “rock solid” and will not seek compromise on the rule of law issue.

He said: “Our position is solid as a rock, theirs is only political will.

“Theirs can be changed, ours can’t. I don’t want compromise.

“Whoever connects them is irresponsible, because the crisis requires rapid economic decisions. “


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