Berlaymont-Rome budget crisis deepens
Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini responded to the European Commission’s decision to reject Italy‘s budget draft and request a new package within three weeks, assessing it as an “attack” on the Italian economy.
The Commission regards the proposal, which suggests Italy running a deficit of 2.4% of GDP next year to help finance pledges for a basic income, a pension overhaul and a two-tier flat tax, is of high risk leading to a breach of the Stability and Growth Pact.
The government, however, says critics of the draft are failing to consider the positive effect the generous budget will have on a growth and, in the process, on bringing down the debt-to-GDP ratio. “We are here to improve the lives of the Italian people,” Salvini said to RTL radio when asked about Berlyamont‘s verdict. “It seems to me to be an attack based on prejudice”. “It’s an attack on the Italian economy because someone wants to buy our companies on the cheap. “If they keep giving slaps for no reason, I’ll start to want to give more money to the Italian people.
“All the budgets that have passed through Brussels in recent years have made the debt rise by 300 billion euros”, Salvini concluded.
He also added that the Commission could send a “dozen of letters” of criticism to Rome, but the budget still would not change.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said to Der Spiegel that “we will ask more questions in the coming days” on the Italian budget which the EC rejected earlier this week.
“But I will also meet Premier Conte in the next few weeks,” he continued.
“Dialogue continues,” said the boss of Berlaymont.