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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spain’s Deficit Violating E.U. Law

In early March, 2012, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced that Spain’s budget-deficit target would not be the 4.4% that had been promised by his predecessor to the E.U. Commission in 2011. Instead, the anticipated deficit in 2012 would be 5.8 percent. That announcement put the state of Spain on a collision course with the enhanced enforcement of deficit limits by the Commission and the ECJ. Even though Rajoy had signed onto the added-enforcement “pact” a month before, he said of the 5.8 percent, “This is a sovereign decision made by Spain.” A few days after his announcement E.U. finance officials met and accepted a 5.3% target. Although it comes with a “tough deficit target” for 2013, one wonders whether the proposed strengthening of the “fiscal pact” will ever be enforced—and in a way that is fair to all of the states.

The complete essay is at Essays on Two Federal Empires.