Eurostat reports that 12 EU states exceeded the 3% stability and growth pact limit last year. But let’s start with the good news: 6 states – Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Sweden, Ireland and Belgium – had a budget surplus in 2004. The three countries with the highest deficits were Greece (6.6%), Hungary (5.4%), Malta (5.1%), and Cyprus (4.1%).
All the larger EU states (with the honourable exception of Spain) had excess deficits: Poland (3.9%), Germany (3.7%), France (3.6%), Italy (3.2%) and the UK (3.1%). Eurozone total government deficit rose to 70.8% of the total GDP of the region.