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Business

No New Savings Measures, Eichel Promises

German Finance Minister Hans Eichel said he has no plans to introduce additional savings measures in the wake of a ruling by the European Court of Justice on Germany's inflated budget deficit. "Additional savings plans or tax increases would be counter-productive and damaging, they would endanger our economic recovery," Eichel wrote in an article published in the German business daily Handelsblatt on Wednesday. The EU court overturned a decision last year to exempt Germany and France from fines for overstepping eurozone budget deficit limits. Eichel said he is sticking to plans to inject around €15 billion ($18.6 billion) into the 2005 budget through privatizations in order to keep new debt in check. Eichel welcomed what he said was a "wise ruling" by the EU court, and said that Germany is no closer to sanctions than it was before. According to a report in the Financial Times Deutschland, the EU is working on recommendations as to how Germany and France can keep their deficits in 2005 under the 3 percent of GDP limit set by the EU's Growth and Stability Pact, without incurring sanctions.

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