Deficits of six future EU members broke EU rules

Six of the 10 countries to join the European Union in May had public deficits greater than those allowed by the EU's Stability and Growth Pact, EU data published on Tuesday 16 March showed.

The Czech Republic had the widest public deficit at 12.9 per cent of gross domestic product, more than four times the threeper cent limit allowed by the 1997 pact, AFP reported.

It was followed by Malta with a deficit of 9.7 per cent, Cyprus with 6.3 per cent, Hungary with 5.9 per cent, Poland 4.1 per cent