Commissioner says EMU on course
Tuesday 29 April 1997
His remarks followed comments by IMF officials at the weekend warning that any delay to the single currency would risk causing turmoil on the foreign exchanges.
Mr de Silguy said he had no fear that France and Germany would miss the economic targets set out in the Maastricht Treaty. He added that it would be "out of the question" to weaken the criteria.
New economic forecasts from the Commission last week predicted that thesse two countries, along with others, would just scrape under the 3 per cent of GDP ceiling for their government budget deficit.
The same EU forecasts showed Italy missing the budget criterion. Separate predictions by the IMF last week showed France and Germany joining Italy outside the 3 per cent limit.
But Mr de Silguy said yesterday that the Commission's predictions would not necessarily exclude Italy from joining the single currency. The decision, to be made early next year, would look at the structural reforms that had been carried out in each country, he said.
He stressed that the EU heads of state will make their decision about which countries can join the first phase based on "real figures for 1997 and the budget proposals for 1998".
Lamberto Dini, Italy's foreign minister, also speaking in Washington, said that the country's hopes of participating in the first phase of EMU depended on drastic reforms to the pension system. He said: "Italy has a window of at most four months to take the difficult decisions."
Carlo Ciampi, the Treasury Minister, insisted that Italy would be within the 3 per cent ceiling in 1997, the key year for qualifying for the first wave. The Italian government has passed a drastic 1997 budget package, including a one-off "Eurotax", that Mr Ciampi said would be sufficient for the deficit target to be met.
IMF officials warned at the weekend that a delay to the single currency project would lead to "substantial dangers". Massimo Russo, a special adviser on EMU to the Fund, said it would not matter if some countries had budget deficits just above the 3 per cent ceiling.
- 1 Three of Pope Francis' relatives die in Argentina car crash, including two young great-nephews
- 2 Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
- 3 Here’s the damning letter Robin Williams wrote to his Mrs Doubtfire co-star's principal after they expelled her
- 4 Ferguson protests: 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein ‘arrested’ by police during St Louis demonstrations
- 5 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
Syria conflict: President Assad finally turns on Isis as government steps up campaign against militant strongholds
Michael Brown shooting: Amnesty International sends team within US for first time as National Guard deployed
Ice Bucket Challenge: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Oprah – the most entertaining reactions so far
Iraq crisis: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
World peace? These are the only 11 countries in the world that are actually free from conflict
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 - £30000 per annum + bonus+benefits+package: Harrington Starr: Junior D...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Java/Calypso Developer Java, Calypso, ...
£700 per day: Harrington Starr: Quantitative Developer C++, Python, STL, R, PD...
£30000 - £44000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Web deve...