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EU budget fines can't be ruled out yet

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 01:37

The European Commission has accepted the budgets of France and Italy for now, saying there's no evidence of serious breaches at the moment. But as Hayley Platt reports France and Italy aren't totally in the clear yet.

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No penalties for now - but France's and Italy's proposed 2015 budgets could still get them into trouble with the EU. The new Commission which takes office on Saturday will decide in a few weeks time if any EU member has broken the rules on fiscal stability. Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Jyrki Katainen says at the moment there's no evidence of serious non-compliance. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EU ECONOMIC AND MONETARY AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER, JYRKI KATAINEN, SAYING: "This is good news and it shows that our economic governance is working and having an impact. But I want to underline that this does not mean draft budgetary plans will necessarily be found to be in full compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact." Both key economies revised their budgets at the last minute to avoid possible fines. But the amendments still leave France with a structural deficit that is far too high. A battle of wills is ongoing, over the best way to help everyone's economies without further stunting weak growth. Simon Derrick from Bank of New York Mellon says in some ways a compromise could be good for investors . (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF CURRENCY STRATEGIST AT BNY MELLON, SIMON DERRICK, SAYING: "Perhaps this gives a little more leeway now for the ECB to make its move itself. Remember Mr Draghi said that it wasn't up to monetary policy alone to be able to make changes within the euro zone, but there was also a need for governments to make some kind of move as well. Maybe this compromise is the move he was talking about." France and Italy do have support from others in the euro zone. And there was one consolation for them - there will be no fines for any breaches in this year's budget.

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EU budget fines can't be ruled out yet

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 01:37