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Europe

Euro Pact Reform to be Unveiled

Newspaper reports that changes to relax the Stability and Growth Pact are ready to be announced this week

Plans to reform the Stability and Growth Pact -- the set of rules underpinning the euro - are set to be unveiled by the European Commission Friday, according to French financial daily, Les Echos. The reforms are expected to result in a softening of the rules, which have caused huge rows in recent months between member states themselves and between Brussels and some EU countries -- notably France and Germany. Two main changes to the rules are expected, according to the Financial Times. First, the circumstances under which a so-called excessive deficit is permitted are expected to change, allowing member states to run a deficit over 3 percent. Second, Brussels is likely to soften the deadlines it imposes on EU countries to reduce their deficits. Currently, a country in breach of the pact is given four months to publish a plan to get the deficit down and then has one year to implement it. (EUobserver.com)

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