The Budget ‘Sin Bin’

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.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".