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Council Decision of 8 November 2011 amending Decision 2011/734/EU addressed to Greece with a view to reinforcing and deepening fiscal surveillance and giving notice to Greece to take measures for the deficit reduction judged necessary to remedy the situation of excessive deficit (2011/791/EU)

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U.K.

Council Decision

of 8 November 2011

amending Decision 2011/734/EU addressed to Greece with a view to reinforcing and deepening fiscal surveillance and giving notice to Greece to take measures for the deficit reduction judged necessary to remedy the situation of excessive deficit

(2011/791/EU)

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and in particular Article 126(9) and Article 136 thereof,

Having regard to the recommendation from the European Commission,

Whereas:

(1) Article 136(1)(a) TFEU foresees the possibility of adopting measures specific to the Member States whose currency is the euro with a view to strengthening the coordination and surveillance of their budgetary discipline.

(2) Article 126 TFEU establishes that Member States are to avoid excessive government deficits and sets out the excessive deficit procedure to that effect. The Stability and Growth Pact, which in its corrective arm implements the excessive deficit procedure, provides the framework supporting government policies for a prompt return to sound budgetary positions taking account of the economic situation.

(3) On 27 April 2009, the Council decided, in accordance with Article 104(6) of the Treaty establishing the European Community (TEC), that an excessive deficit existed in Greece.

(4) On 10 May 2010, the Council adopted Decision 2010/320/EU(1) addressed to Greece under Article 126(9) and Article 136 with a view to reinforcing and deepening the fiscal surveillance and giving notice to take measures for the deficit reduction judged necessary to remedy the situation of excessive deficit at the latest by the deadline of 2014. The Council established the following adjustment path for the deficit correction: government deficits not exceeding EUR 18 508 million in 2010, EUR 17 065 million in 2011, EUR 14 916 million in 2012, EUR 11 399 million in 2013 and EUR 6 385 million in 2014.

(5) Decision 2010/320/EU had been substantially amended several times(2). Since further amendments were to be made, it was recast, on 12 July 2011, by means of Council Decision 2011/734/EU(3) in the interests of clarity.

(6) In September 2011, it became evident that, taking into account budgetary execution until that September, with unchanged policies, the 2011 target for the deficit would be missed by a significant amount which would jeopardise the overall credibility of the programme. In October 2011, the Greek government announced measures aimed at minimising the slippage in the 2011 budget and presented a draft budget for 2012 aimed at respecting the ceiling for 2012 established by Decision 2010/320/EU. These measures will become law by the end of October 2011. Extensive discussions on these measures have taken place between the Hellenic authorities and the Commission’s services.

(7) In the light of the above considerations, it appears appropriate to amend Decision 2011/734/EU in a number of respects, while keeping unchanged the deadline for the correction of the excessive deficit,

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

(2)

Decision 2010/486/EU (OJ L 241, 14.9.2010, p. 12); Decision 2011/57/EU (OJ L 26, 29.1.2011, p. 15); Decision 2011/257/EU (OJ L 110, 29.4.2011, p. 26).

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