Spain will be taken off the EU's red list of budgetary sinners next year, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said on Friday. Spain and France are currently the only two eurozone countries still under special budget supervision by Brussels for running up deficits in excess of an EU-imposed limit of 3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). But "Spain will come out of the excessive deficit procedure in 2018, and we can be close to a balanced budget in 2020," Rajoy told an end-of-year news conference. Madrid plans to reduce its deficit ratio to 3.1 percent in 2017, then bring it back below the 3.0-percent limit in 2018 when — according to the government's draft budget — it will come out at 2.3 percent. Countries which repeatedly break the 3.0-percent rule enshrined in EU treaties can face possible penalties and fines. At the end of the third quarter of 2017, Spain's deficit stood at 1.56 percent of GDP, putting on course to reach the 3.1-percent target for th..