German EU official urges action against Spain, Portugal

Germany's European Union commissioner is pressing for action against Spain and Portugal for failing to meet their budget targets, arguing that Brussels must act to maintain its credibility.

The EU's executive Commission refrained in May from imposing immediate fines, saying it would revisit the situation in July.

The EU wants countries to keep their budget deficits below 3 percent of their annual GDP. Though countries can be fined up to 0.2 percent of their GDP if they fail to implement measures to meet the limits, no nation has yet been fined.

Commissioner Guenther Oettinger was quoted Monday as telling German daily Bild: "If the Commission wants to preserve its credibility on upholding budget rules, we have to approve sanctions against Spain and Portugal."