11:46 GMT31 October 2020
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    Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that sanctions against Spain and Portugal for missing their deficit targets next month are absolutely a possibility.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Eurogroup will make a formal decision regarding imposing sanctions against Spain and Portugal for missing their deficit targets next month, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Tuesday, adding that restrictive measures were "absolutely a possibility."

    Last week, the European Commission gave Spain and Portugal additional time to put their budgets in order, extending deadline to correct excessive deficits.

    "We will come to a more formal decision only next month… Sanctions are absolutely a possibility because they are in our rules and regulations, when you look at the current situation in Portugal and Spain there was a serious reason to look at sanctions," Dijsselbloem, who is also the Dutch finance minister, told reporters.

    The European Union budgetary rules stipulate that the national budget deficits should remain under 3 percent of GDP.

    Spain is expected to reduce its deficit from 5.1 percent in 2015 to 2.5 percent in 2017, while Portugal has to reduce the deficit from 4.2 percent to 2.3 percent by the end of 2016, as the previous extension expired in December.

    Earlier in May, media reports emerged claiming that acting Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy had asked the European Commission to waive a fine that Brussels may impose against Madrid for not hitting its deficit target last year.

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    sanctions, Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Spain, Portugal
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