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BRIEF: EU Talks Aim For December Fiscal Rules Deal -Official

(MNI) Brussels

A deal on overhauling European Union fiscal rules could come in December, with the thorny issue of putting actual numbers on key provisions in a new compromise proposal set to be sidestepped at Thursday’s meeting of finance ministers, an EU official close to the bloc’s Spanish presidency said.

“Tomorrow will not be the all-nighter, so you can rest assured,” the official said, adding that Thursday’s meeting will aim to garner support for the proposed landing zone, which gives Germany and so-called frugal states increased guarantees on deficit and debt consolidation and makes it easier for high-debt states to extend the length of their debt-adjustment programmes from four to seven years. (See MNI: Hopes Rise In Dash For EU Fiscal Rule Deal By Year End)

Germany and the frugals are still objecting to the concession for higher-debt states, the official noted.

“One of the last issues to be decided would be the exact numbers,” the official said, adding that the Dec 8 finance ministers meeting was likely to be the earliest that an agreement is possible, and that the “door is open” should an additional meeting be required this year.

If Thursday’s meeting provides a “general sense of what the political agreement could be”, the Spanish presidency will begin drafting a legal text.

“We will then see how fast we can travel,” the official said.

MNI Brussels Bureau |
MNI Brussels Bureau |

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