Germany drops pledge to balance budget

Germany on 11 May conceded defeat in its battle aimed at cutting spending and avoiding recession by dropping its pledge to balance its budget by 2006 as required under the Stability and Growth Pact.

Source: EurActiv

According to Chancellor Gerhard Schroder, Germany's depressed economic growth made the goal, established three years ago, unattainable. Mr Schroder said in a newspaper interview that "A balanced 2006 budget would require growth rates that I cannot expect and if achieving this meant