Spain, Portugal to get extra year to bring deficit below EU ceiling

The European Commission proposes granting Spain and Portugal one more year to bring their deficits below the EU-mandated ceiling of 3 per cent of gross domestic product, Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici says.

This means Lisbon would have to meet the target this year, rather than in 2015, while Madrid would have until 2017 to whittle down its deficit. The decision requires the approval of EU member states.

Efforts to meet the revised targets must continue at a "strong pace," Moscovici says.

He also defends the decision to delay any further action against the two deficit offenders until July, noting that "this is not the right moment economically or politically to take this step."

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

More from Europe

European Parliament elects Antonio Tajani as its next president

The European Parliament elected centre-right Antonio Tajani of Italy as its next president over fellow Italian...

Report: US and EU make "considerable progress" on TTIP negotiations

The European Union and the United States have made "considerable progress" in negotiating the Transatlantic Trade...

Mediterranean death toll exceeds 200 since January 1, IOM says

At least 219 people have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean in the first weeks of 2017, the...

Estonia, Lithuania sign defence deal with US after Trump bashes NATO

Estonia and Lithuania signed bilateral defence agreements with the US, just days after US-president elect Donald...

German artist fined 700 euros for doing push-ups on church altar

A 38-year-old man was fined 700 euros (750 dollars) by a German court on Tuesday for disrupting the practice of...