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Estonia among just seven EU Member States with tidy budgets

2024 state budget bill document - this is in fact the accompanying explanatory memorandum.
2024 state budget bill document - this is in fact the accompanying explanatory memorandum. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

An overview by the European Commission points out that Estonia is among just seven Member States whose budget will comply with EU rules next year. The rest are either over the deficit limit or very close to it.

"Overall, the Commission is of the opinion that the draft budgetary plans of Cyprus, Estonia, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Slovenia and Lithuania are in line with these Council Recommendations," the Tuesday press release reads.

The same overview finds that "draft budgetary plans of Austria, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia are not fully in line with the Council Recommendations. The draft budgetary plans of Belgium, Finland, France, Croatia risk not being in line with the Council Recommendations."

The Council's recommendations primarily speak of a deficit of under 3 percent of GDP.

The assessment comes as part of the 2024 European Semester cycle of economic policy cooperation. "Economic policy coordination through the European Semester will help Member States achieve these objectives by setting priorities and providing clear and well-coordinated policy guidance for the coming year," the press release reads.

Provided countries the draft budgets of which are not in line with rules fail to take measures, the Commission might bring excessive fiscal deficit proceedings that could potentially end up in financials punishments.

Commentators pointed out as curious that while the draft budgets of Greece and Spain, which were having serious difficulties a decade ago, are now considered to be in compliance with requirements, more austere Member States who were forced to bail the former out at the time, like Germany and the Netherlands, have now run afoul of the rules themselves.

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Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski

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