Berlaymont wrestling with Italy budget
It is highly likely that the European Union will reject Italy’s spending plans this week, with speculation mounting that officials in Brussels intend to say ‘no ‘ to the Euro skeptic government’s 2019 draft budget to prevent its success and growth of popularity wherever it can.
The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm which checks and approves euro zone budgets before they are adopted by national parliaments, could decide for the first time in the history of the bloc a member state to revise its draft budget.
The Berlaymont has already indicated that it is discontent with the plans, warning last week that the draft is in serious breach of, and an “unprecedented” deviation from, the EU spending rules.
“The European Commission is assessing the Italian draft budget in an objective way, to check whether it respects the commitments Italy took last July before all EU countries. To be clear, there is no legal way for the Commission to ‘reject’ a draft budget. But the Commission can ask a government to submit a revised version of the draft budgetary plan” said the Commission press person, commenting on the ambivalent situation.
European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that it is up to Italy to make the next move after he sent the government a letter of reproach over its plan to let the budget deficit rise to 2.4% of GDP next year. “Dialogue is fundamentally important,” Moscovici told a press conference at the end of a visit to Italy.
“We all know that it is a delicate question and we don’t have any interest in creating further tension” he continued.
“The ball is now in the court of the Italian authorities, who will answer us by Monday”.
“The Commission’s mission will be based on the general interest. The European Commission’s mission is to ensure economic prosperity and we remain true to this mission“.
“Today, for the first time, the Commission is obliged to request a euro area country to revise its draft budget plan,” Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told a news conference.
The European Commission rejected Italy’s draft 2019 budget informing that the plan breaks EU rules in an “unprecedented” way and asked Rome to submit a new one within three weeks or it would face disciplinary action.