EU says 3 countries at risk of not meeting euro budget rules

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's executive arm is warning that Austria, Italy and Lithuania are at risk of not meeting budget requirements demanded by rules governing the euro currency, which is used by 19 countries.

In a regular assessment of year-ahead budget plans, the European Commission says no country's draft budgetary plan has been found to be seriously in breach of euro rules.

The assessment is part of a concerted effort by euro countries to co-ordinate policies in the wake of a debt crisis that has at times nearly prompted the collapse of the euro currency itself.

Pierre Moscovici, the EU's euro commissioner, says most countries are "compliant or broadly compliant" with the requirements, and that the eurozone continues to improve its public finances "helped along by a strengthening economic recovery."