Brussels forecasts Italy will break deficit rules

According to the European Commission Italy is likely to break the stability and growth pact's deficit limit of 3 per cent of GDP in 2004.

Source: Financial Times

Italy is set to join Germany, France and Portugal in the growing group of countries in breach of the European Union's budget rules, according to forecasts published Tuesday.

With European growth slumping to a predicted 1 per cent this year, some member states are struggling to stay within the limits of the stability and growth pact.