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A fine pact

EU budget delinquents have the upper hand

Swaha Pattanaik 

Swaha Pattanaik Being a policeman is sometimes harder than being a delinquent. Take the European Commission, taxed with enforcing fiscal rules that underpin the euro, and considering whether to penalise Spain and Portugal for missing budget deficit cutting targets. Fining countries that persistently flout European budget rules may have been intended as a deterrent never to be deployed. In reality, taking such an unprecedented step would make little sense. Spain and Portugal are already struggling to cut their deficits - a situation that fines would exacerbate. And penalising them when repeat budget offender ...

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First Published: Tue, April 26 2016. 21:20 IST