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Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

My right honourable Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Items on the agenda were as follows:

Financial Management—Ministers received a presentation from Hubert Weber, the president of the Court of Auditors, on the Court of Auditors' report on the 2005 general budget.

Statistics: 2006 Status Report and EU Statistical Governance—ECOFIN adopted conclusions on the Economic and Financial Committee's 2006 status report and other statistical issues.

Sustainability of Public Finances: Sustainability Report—Ministers held an exchange of views and adopted conclusions on the Commission report regarding the sustainability of public finances.

Excise Duties: Minimum Rates on Alcoholic Beverages—ECOFIN discussed issues relating to the minimum excise rates on alcoholic beverages.

VAT and Excise Duties: Travellers' Allowances Directive—Ministers discussed issues relating to the Travellers' Allowances Directive.

ECOFIN Ministers also met with European Free Trade Area Finance Ministers to discuss energy policy and climate change. Finance Ministers agreed in principle to bring the European Free Trade Area members into the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme.