EU states warned over budgets

Spain could now be forced to submit a revised budget after December’s elections

Michael Noonan at the start of the Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the European Convention Centre in Luxembourg. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Michael Noonan at the start of the Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the European Convention Centre in Luxembourg. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

 

The European Commission sounded an early warning to member states about their responsibilities under Stability and Growth Pact rules, as it advised Spain it could be in breach of budget rules for 2016.

Spain has already submitted its budget to the European Commission ahead of the October 15th deadline, but it could now be forced to submit a revised budget after December’s elections.

Further details of the budget report are expected today when EU finance ministers gather for a second day of meetings.

The EU’s economic chief also said that the commission was still considering whether to allow countries certain leeway to account for the costs of the migration crisis when analysing national budgets, a move supported by Ireland.

Yesterday’s Eurogroup meeting – the first since the Greek general election on September 20th – focused on Greece, with the Eurogroup warning Athens it must implement almost 50 “key milestones” before it can access up to €3 billion due to it under its third bailout.

Tax commissioner Pierre Moscovici said he was confident the first review under the third Greek bailout programme could be completed by the end of November.

Review

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem said the question of debt relief could only be discussed after the review was completed.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was due to present his 2016 budget to the Parliament last night as the Greek parliament began three days of debate on the issue.