Maastricht Treaty - not yet set in stone

Baku, February 7 AZERTAC

It's been 25 years since the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, which among other things included provisions that have to be met to join the euro.

The two most important elements of these provisions - known as the convergence criteria - concern fiscal discipline, mandating member states to limit their annual budget deficits to less than three percent of their respective economic output while instructing them to hold their national debt to under 60 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Germany was the driving force behind the inclusion of these provisions in the agreement, even though the "three percent rule" on budget deficits had originally been conceived by a young French official.

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