The European Commission will probably order the Netherlands to cut its budget deficit to below the official EU level by 2013, finance minister Wouter Bos told news agency ANP on Tuesday.
Under EU rules, the budget deficit must be below 3% of gross domestic product. On Monday, it emerged France and Germany must bring their deficits back under control by 2013.
‘I do not have the impression that the Netherlands is being treated any different to other countries,’ Bos said, following a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels. The commission expects the Dutch budget deficit to reach 6% next year.
Bos told ANP it would be a ‘challenging deadline but not impossible’.
The finance minister did say he was concerned about how ready some member states are to follow the commission’s instructions. France has already said it will be difficult to cut its 8.3% budget deficit in line with Brussels’ timetable.
The EU’s economic affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia will formally announce the deadlines on Wednesday.
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