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Business

Eichel Criticizes Brussels over Stability Pact

German Finance Minister Hans Eichel over the weekend attacked the European Commission after Brussels said it was considering forcing Berlin to undertake new saving measures to get its budget deficit under control. In a guest article for the Financial Times newspaper scheduled to be published on Monday, Eichel said the Commission’s position on the European Union’s stability pact was “devoid of all logic” and that it was wrong to impose the agreement designed to underpin the euro as “a purely mechanical procedure.” Writing for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Eichel said: “The pact isn’t criminal law, rather a framework. It’s not about sinners or even criminals, but acting responsible economically.” Germany, the main architect of the Stability and Growth Pact, recently admitted it will breach the 3.0 percent limit budget deficit for the third consecutive year in 2004. Under the terms of the pact, Brussels can fine nations that repeated exceed the limit.