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Budget concerns will head agenda at EU finance meet

SHARE Budget concerns will head agenda at EU finance meet

BRUSSELS, Belgium — Fears that the world economic slowdown is pushing up budget deficits in leading European economies will likely dominate talks among European finance ministers.

Ministers from the 12-nation euro-zone gather for dinner Monday on the heels of the weekend meeting in Rome that expressed cautious optimism the global slowdown maybe bottoming out.

On Tuesday, the euro-zone ministers will be joined by their colleagues from Britain, Sweden and Denmark, the three European Union nations that have stayed out of the euro currency bloc.

The talks are expected to analyze the state of the European and world economies ahead of the annual summit of the G-8 group of the world's biggest industrial powers July 20-22 in the northern Italian city of Genoa.

Although the European ministers attending Saturday's G-7 meeting in Rome welcomed U.S. Treasury Secretary's Paul O'Neill assessment that the sluggish global economy is poised for a rebound, there are mounting fears slower growth risks pushing up deficits in Europe.