March 18, 2020 / 9:31 AM / 14 days ago

Austrian draft budget sees deficit that is likely to expand

VIENNA, March 18 (Reuters) - Austria outlined a draft budget for 2020 on Wednesday that forecast a deficit due to the coronavirus pandemic and said the size of the shortfall was not clear due to the developing crisis.

The conservative-led government that took office in January with the help of the left-wing Greens had pledged to balance the books but conceded over the weekend that that would not be possible. It pledged to make 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion)immediately available to help deal with the economic fallout.

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Edmund Blair

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