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Speaking from Strasbourg on Tuesday (15 June), European economy commissioner Olli Rehn announced that Cyprus, Denmark and his home country, Finland, are to join the growing pack of excessive deficit countries, as defined by the EU’s Stability and Growth Pact. The commission recommends that member states set a deadline of 2011 for Finland to correct its budgetary position, 2012 for Cyprus and 2013 for Denmark.

Estonia, Luxembourg (the only vertuous member of the Eurozone) and Sweden are still considered to be budgetary angels by the commission, with Bulgaria technically still in compliance, but “likely to be put into the excessive deficit procedure once we can examine their data,” said Mr Rehn.

The Commission concluded that effective action in compliance with the Council recommendations of December 2009 under Article 126(7) was taken by Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia. The Commission concluded that at this juncture no further steps under the excessive deficit procedure are necessary for these countries.

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