The European Commission welcomes today’s Council decisions on Spain and Portugal in the context of the Stability and Growth Pact. These decisions follow entirely the Commission’s recommendations of 27 July. Following its decision on 12 July that Spain and Portugal did not take effective action to correct their excessive deficits, the Council has now cancelled the fines for both countries and has set new fiscal paths to each of them, as recommended by the Commission. Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, said: “Today, following the Commission’s recommendations, the EU finance ministers decided to cancel financial fines for Spain and Portugal. They also confirmed the new budgetary adjustment paths for both countries. Effective action by Spain and Portugal will be a necessary condition to lift the suspension of commitments under the European Structural and Investment Funds.” Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “Today’s decisions reflect an intelligent application of the Stability and Growth Pact. By giving more time to Spain and Portugal to bring their public deficits below 3%, the Council sets new credible fiscal trajectories, which will contribute to strengthening both their economies and the euro area. Stability and Growth require a strong determination to put public finances in order. I trust that Spain and Portugal will respond accordingly to the collective decisions by the Commission and the Council. The Commission will assess the action taken by Spain and Portugal in the coming months in the context of both the Excessive Deficit Procedure and the analysis of the Draft Budgetary Plans for 2017”.
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