§ Lord Shore of Stepney
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Under what treaty authority the Italian Government was required to limit its 1999 deficit to 2 per cent. of gross domestic product; under what authority the meeting of the Economic and Finance Council of Ministers in Brussels on 24 and 25 May was enabled to change the 2 per cent. limit to 2.4 per cent.; whether there was a vote in the Ministerial Council; whether the United Kingdom was entitled to vote; and, if so, whether the United Kingdom Minister voted for or against the relaxation. [HL2740]
§ Lord McIntosh of Haringey
The 25 May ECOFIN agreed to a draft text of the Broad Economic Guidelines for Italy that reflected the possibility of lower than forecast growth in 1999 impacting on Italy's deficit. Article 99 of the Amsterdam Treaty authorises the Council to formulate a draft of the Broad Economic Guidelines. No vote was taken by the Council.