Romania's president concerned about rising budget deficit

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president says the government's 2017 budget plan is "risky" and he has concerns about overspending.

President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday met the premier and finance minister to discuss the budget, which has already been approved by parliament but is not yet signed by the president.

Iohannis said after the meeting that "there is a real risk of the budget exceeding 3 percent" of gross domestic product, the European Union limit.

In 2016, Romania's budget deficit was 2.4 percent of GDP, and the new government has forecast it reaching at most 3 percent this year. The European Union, however, expects the 2017 deficit to reach 4.4 percent.

The center-left government won parliamentary elections in December with promises to hike pensions, increase student grants and scrap some taxes.

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