EU finance ministers call off deficit action

LUXEMBOURG (AFP) – EU finance ministers called off excessive deficit procedures against Greece yesterday after deciding that Athens has taken adequate measures to get its deficit within EU limits, the European Union’s Luxembourg presidency said. The ministers rubber-stamped the European Commission’s opinion that no further disciplinary measures against Greece were required for the moment. They said in a statement from the EU’s presidency that they «congratulated the Greek government for not only implementing a 2005 budget with rigor but also for having taken additional structural measures this year.» Because Greece followed the ministers’ recommendations in February, «no further steps in the excessive deficit procedure are currently needed,» they said. The Greek deficit stood at 6.1 of GDP in 2004.