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Britain’s Deficit To Exceed Euro Limits

The UK's Finance Minister, Gordon Brown, yesterday announced that Britain's deficit would breach the euro zone's rules in 2004.

British Finance Minister Gordon Brown said Wednesday that the United Kingdom’s deficit would breach the euro zone’s rules in 2004. The rules state that a country's budget deficit must be below 3 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Brown said the U.K. deficit would rise to 3.4 percent next year. However, since Britain is not a member of the euro zone, it is not bound by Growth and Stability Pact, which ensures the course of the euro, Europe's common currency. The pact is currently under pressure after France and Germany, backed by the UK, persuaded fellow finance ministers not to start disciplinary measures against them for breaking the rules. ( EUobserver.com)