Maastricht criteria may be too tight

February 13, 1998

The target figures chosen for fiscal convergence under the Maastricht Treaty have no basis in economic reality and may be damagingly restrictive, says an article in the latest Cambridge Journal of Economic History. Luigi Passinetti, professor of economics at the Universita Cattolica, Milan, and visiting fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, says that the public deficit and debt targets adopted as part of the Maastricht criteria alternatives, which are often portrayed as essential for fiscal stability, are only two among a wide range of target figures that could fulfil that requirement.

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