Belgium is expected to provide only half of the budgetary effort required by the European Commission in 2018, the business newspaper L´Echo reported on Wednesday. In its draft budgetary plan submitted to the European authorities, the Belgian government states that the country’s structural balance should reach -1.1% of GDP in 2017 and -0.8% of GDP in 2018. This is an improvement by only 0.3% of GDP, half of what the Commission expects.
The European Commission is requiring an improvement in the structural balance by at least 0.6% of GDP per year. If 2017 is included in the prospect, progress is “a good 1% of GDP over two years”, argues Belgium, which nevertheless must convince the Commission not to impose any budgetary sanctions.
Belgium relies essentially on two factors in order to, once again, pass the test by a small margin. The federal government has implemented reforms such as a tax shift and an investment pact and is secretly hoping that other countries will do even worse, according to L´Echo.