Nearly Every Country In The Eurozone Broke The Rules On Deficits In 2010

Angela Merkel

Photo: AP

While we highlighted the dire situation in Greece earlier, the deficit reality across the eurozone is that most states are breaking the region’s rules.Countries are not supposed to run deficits higher than 3% of GDP, according to the Maastricht Treaty:

The purpose of the procedure is to ensure that excessive deficits are promptly corrected. In normal circumstances, a general government deficit exceeding the reference value of 3% of gross domestic product (GDP) at market prices is considered excessive. This deficit limit is not applicable in a severe recession.

The exclusion may give several of the eurozone’s member states a bye, but still doesn’t deflect attention from what’s a broad disease rather than a localised problem.

The rule breakers in 2010:

  • Ireland: 32.4% deficit as a per cent of GDP
  • Greece: 10.5% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Spain: 9.2% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Portugal: 9.1% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Slovakia: 7.9% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • France: 7.0% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Slovenia: 5.6% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Netherlands: 5.4% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Cyprus: 5.3% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Austria: 4.6% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Italy: 4.6% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Belgium: 4.1% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Malta: 3.6% deficit as per cent of GDP
  • Germany 3.3% deficit as per cent of GDP

That leaves only Luxembourg, Finland, and Estonia within the rules.

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