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Reader feedback: Creative bookkeeping?

Re: Coalition agrees on state budget, Flash News, October 6, 2005

Former EU Commissioner Frits Bolkestein fears that the euro will not be able to withstand the games being played with the criteria to keep the currency stable. Joaquim Almunia, EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner, claims that many euroland countries are hiring large private banks (financial engineering and creative bookkeeping appear to represent an undisclosed source of income for them) to assist them to show that they are complying with the Maastricht Treaty.

Berlin has broken the pact since 2002, and is expected to record borrowing close to 4 percent. Italy and Portugal are already facing action under the pact, and three other countries will be issued warnings.

Regardless of whether the quoted 2.9 percent deficit (0.1 percent under the 3 percent the Maastricht Treaty allows) of Slovakia for 2006 is indeed a true reflection of what is likely to be, aiming to adhere to the Maastricht Treaty is one [good] thing, but rushing into the euro may be quite another.

Radošovce, Slovakia

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