Five countries are set to breach EU budget rules, but Ireland will get a green light

Three other states are due to post the highest deficits possible within the rules

Five nations have fallen foul of the EU's fiscal discipline rules which require countries to keep their deficits below 3% of their GDP.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg have found that five member states will break these rules - with the UK, France, Spain, Greece, and Croatia all running larger deficits.

Finland, Poland, and Romania are set to post deficits on the edge of the threshold.

Governments are required to take actions to narrow these deficits to within the 3 percent threshold, or they can face fines although no fines have ever actually been issued.

Since the Stability and Growth Pact was introduced in 1998 25 of the 28 member states have broken these rules, with Sweden, Estonia and Luxembourg being the only countries with a clean record of compliance.

The number of countries breaking these rules increased from two in 2007 to 22 in 2009 as the financial crisis hit global markets. Ireland set a record for the greatest individual shortfall with a 32.3 percent deficit in 2010.

The number of over spending counties this year is expected to be the lowest since the financial crisis.