European Union countries will continue to consolidate public finances, but they can now afford to do that at a slower pace than before, because their previous efforts have won them back some market credibility, the EU's top economic official said.
"We have been clear that the pace of fiscal adjustment should take into account each country-specific economic situation," EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told a conference in Brussels on Thursday.
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"The pace of fiscal consolidation is now already slowing down in Europe, the pace is slowing down," Rehn said.
(Reporting by Martin Santa and Jan Strupczewski; editing by Rex Merrifield)