Germany will breach European Union deficit rules for the fourth consecutive year in 2005, and is set to do so in 2006 and 2007, Finance Minister Hans Eichel said Thursday. The German government forecasted a public deficit of 3.7 percent of gross domestic product this year, 3.4 percent of GDP in 2006 and 3.1 percent of GDP in 2007. "Germany's financial situation is dramatic," Eichel told a news conference. Under the terms of the EU's Stability and Growth Pact, euro-zone countries are not allowed to run up deficits in excesss of 3.0 percent of GDP. Germany, the eurozone's biggest economy, already exceeded that limit in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund had forecast that the German deficit ratio would amount to 3.8 percent this "and be only slightly lower in 2006".