German deficit pledge

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany will reduce its budget deficit to below the European Union’s cap of 3 percent of gross domestic product in 2007, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck was quoted as saying yesterday. «The (deficit) will be below 3 percent,» Steinbrueck said in an interview with newspaper Welt am Sonntag. His remarks coincided with a warning from the head of the Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, that the country could face EU sanctions if it did not respect the deficit limit, which it is set to breach for a fourth straight year in 2005. Steinbrueck added that Germany’s 16 states would also be pressed to contribute more to cost-saving efforts.