DENMARK- Denmark is well on the way to kerbing problems posed by its ageing populous if new figures from the European Commission are anything to go by.
But praise for Denmark follows harsh rebukes for Spain, Portugal and Germany - all of which have failed to meet budgetary targets.
According to the latest assessment of the country’s EC convergence programme, Denmark has continued to fulfil its criteria on inflation, long term interest and exchange rates. The general government budget balance is also expected to show surpluses of around 2% of GDP for the entire period 2001-2005.
“Preparing for the ageing of the population has for some time been an important element in the Danish budgetary strategy. Long term indicators show that the public finances are sustainable and in a good position to handle the projected expenditure rises due to the ageing of the population and continue to be in compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact,” the Commission added.
These aims have been strengthened by a tax freeze to stop the upward drift in taxes and help curb the tendency for a rise in real expenditures compared with the budgets.
The Stability and Growth Pact adopted by the Amsterdam European Council in June 1997 requires Eurozone countries to present updates of stability programmes on an annual basis to the Council and Commission.
By Madhu Kalia
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