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They wouldn't be retroactive, of course. What we need to point out is how rules don't apply to Germany, in fact they pressure the Council to relax them when they are in violation and to tighten them when others are
Eurostat's Selected Principal European Economic Indicators links to a table with annual time-series data on General government gross debt. This is Germany's:
1997 59.7
1998 60.3  
1999 60.9  
2000 59.7  
2001 58.8  
2002 60.4   
2003 63.9  
2004 65.7  
2005 68.0  
2006 67.6  
2007 65.0  
2008 65.9
In 2005, EurActiv reported:
Heads of state and government agreed at the March 2005 Summit to revise the EU's Stability and Growth Pact reform. Under the revised rules, member states must still keep their public deficits under a 3% GDP/deficit ratio and their debts under a 60% GDP/debt ratio.

However, the pact's rules have been made more 'flexible' across a range of areas. For example, member states will avoid an excessive deficit procedure (EDP) if they experience any negative growth at all (previously -2%), can draw on more "relevant factors" to avoid an EDP and will have longer deadlines if they do move into an EDP.


In essence, big countries such as France and Germany have won concessions making the pact more 'flexible' in various parts, adding up to a considerable relaxation of the rules. In return, countries such as Austria and Netherlands have won references to "enhanced surveillance, peer support and peer pressure".

The two thresholds - 60% for the debt and 3% for the deficit - remain unchanged.

Gee whiz, when the governments of Germany and France were about to have an "Excessive Deficit Procedure" open against them, they lobbied to change the rules. And this was in 2005, not in the middle of the biggest recession since the 1930's.
(links in the original comment)

The brainless should not be in banking -- Willem Buiter
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Mar 25th, 2010 at 06:59:40 AM EST
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