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Business

Germany Could Take Until 2010 to Balance Budget

It may take Germany until the end of the decade before it can balance its budget according to a senior lawmaker from Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democratic Party. Joachim Poss, the SPD's deputy parliamentary leader said in an interview in Berlin that tax revenues will continue to dwindle while the economy struggles to overcome a three-year slump. "It could happen that we may need to push back our goal of balancing the budget until 2010. We have been pushed back in the pursuit of our targets,'' Poss said. Hans Eichel, Germany's beleaguered finance minister said on Tuesday that tax income in 2005 may fall short of previous estimates, casting doubts on his efforts to avoid breaching European Union budget-deficit rules for a fourth straight year. Forecasts next week for tax revenue through 2008 may show further shortfalls, Poss said.