Belgium Plans Extra 2 Billion Euros in 2012 Savings, Belga Says

The Belgian government will seek extra budget savings of around 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) this year in a bid to bring the deficit within the European Union limit amid a weaker economy, Belga reported.

Leading members of Premier Elio Di Rupo’s administration endorsed in Brussels yesterday a budget-monitoring panel’s projection that the additional amount of austerity is needed to reach a deficit goal of 2.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, the newswire said.

The monitoring committee recommended savings of 1.5 billion euros and a buffer of 500 million euros, according to Belga, which said the government aims for a decision in a week following further ministerial consultations.

Belgium’s budget for 2012 was drafted on the assumption the country’s economy would expand 0.8 percent this year. The Belgian central bank in mid-February forecast an economic contraction in 2012 of 0.1 percent. The EU deficit limit is 3 percent of GDP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Stearns in Brussels at jstearns2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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