No sanctions over deficits

Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis yesterday told reporters that Greece’s spat with the European Commission over the country’s repeated violations of the budget deficit limit imposed on eurozone members will soon be over with minimal fuss and no sanctions. Greece is expected to be given two years to bring the deficit below 3 percent. The final decision will be announced early next year. «For us, what is important is to have enough time to bring the deficit under control. You cannot expect countries to (do so) with structural measures and yet not have enough time for the structural measures to work,» he told Reuters in an interview following yesterday’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers. He also stressed that Greece expected to be treated in the same way as other states facing the same action.