Spanish minister: No EU budget fines for Spain, Portugal

MADRID – Spain’s acting economy minister says he doesn’t expect the European Union to fine Spain or Portugal for not reducing their budget deficits below prescribed levels.

Minister Luis De Guindos says from the G-20 summit in China that “there are considerable reasons to justify that there won’t be a fine” for either Iberian country.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is currently considering the possibility of sanctioning Spain and Portugal for missing budget deficit targets. Last week, finance ministers from the 28-nation EU agreed that neither country had taken “effective action” to “correct their excessive deficits.”

Fines could amount to 0.2 per cent of each country’s GDP and block EU funding from the start of next year.