BRUSSELS Nov 28 The European Commission will
launch an in-depth investigation into the Dutch economy to
assess the risks of a housing bubble in the country, the
executive arm of the European Union said on Wednesday.
"There is a need to investigate more in-depth the potential
risks stemming from a very elevated level of private sector debt
in combination with high house prices," the Commission said in a
The European Union executive will also look into Malta's
"Potential risks relate to the nexus of an extremely large
financial system and the high exposure of the banks to the
property markets, in combination with high private sector
indebtedness," the statement said.
"Moreover, the size of the (Maltese) financial system is
If the conclusions of the investigations, endorsed by euro
zone finance ministers, are that there are no problems, the
matter will be dropped.
But if the risks might threaten the functioning of the
single currency area, the Commission will send recommendations
to the Netherlands and Malta and the countries would have to
take steps to rectify the situation or could face fines.