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Business

Germany Set to Break EU Deficit Rules, Again

Germany will once again breach European Union deficit rules in 2004, according to a report Finance Minister Hans Eichel gave to Brussels last week. A finance ministry spokesperson on Monday confirmed to reporters that government spending will reach an estimated 3.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The EU's Stability and Growth Pact allows member states a public spending limit of 3 percent. Both France and Germany have broken the pact's agreement for the past two years, angering other EU countries. Eichel said he expected the national debt to increase €50 billion more than expected until 2006. The Federal Accounting Office took aim at the government's finance politics, calling the deficit "cause for concern," in an analysis prepared for news magazine Focus.