Germany to slash borrowing, balance budget by 2016

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By JUERGEN BAETZ, Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's government says it is speeding up its plans to cut its borrowing as it works to balance its budget by 2016.

A senior official said Friday that the federal government will reduce its new borrowing between 2013 and 2016 to euro45.6 billion ($59.5 billion) from the previously planned euro73 billion.

A robust economy has helped increase Germany's tax intake, allowing the country to run up less new debt. Germany plans to balance its budget in 2016, when it expects to borrow only euro1.1 billion.

Germany has pushed hard for the other 16 countries that use the euro as their currency to get their public finances in order as the continent recovers from the debt crisis.

The official briefed reporters on condition of anonymity because the plan hasn't officially been released.

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