Bloomberg the Company & Products

Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Dijsselbloem Urges More Conditions on EU Budget Leeway

Don't Miss Out —
Follow us on:

Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- European Union countries that get more time to meet the bloc’s budget targets should have to show progress in areas like pension and labor-market policy to keep the leeway, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.

Dijsselbloem, who leads the group of euro-area finance ministers, said countries should have to make “big reforms” if they need more time to bring their budget deficit below 3 percent of gross domestic product, as required by EU rules. Countries that don’t follow through should lose the extra time and be forced to cut budgets more quickly, he said in an interview with the de Volkskrant newspaper published today.

“I want to attach new conditions to the flexibility in the pact, namely that in exchange for extra time, serious reforms take place like more flexibility in right of dismissal or a higher pension age,” Dijsselbloem said. “If halfway it appears a country does not fulfill its obligations, the clemency recedes and the country has to do additional austerity.”

The Netherlands is one of a handful of countries, including France, Spain and Italy, that in June won extra time to meet budget goals. Countries with the strongest fiscal positions, such as AAA rated Germany, have pushed for central oversight of national budgets as a condition of creating cross-border crisis backstops like the European Stability Mechanism.

Dijsselbloem said he’ll seek support for his proposal from other finance ministers, many of whom now say that the current policy has sufficient flexibility.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rebecca Christie in Brussels at rchristie4@bloomberg.net; Corina Ruhe in Amsterdam at cruhe@bloomberg.net

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

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.