The Strategist

EU to play against Italian Eurosceptics

06/11/2019 - 12:14

Inability and unwillingness of the Italian authorities to curb the growing debt are forcing the EU to initiate a disciplinary procedure in the amount of €3.5 billion.

Lega Salvini Premier
Lega Salvini Premier
A report of the European Commission notes that this step is necessary, since Italy has not been successful in reducing debt. Brussels hopes to weaken the position of euro-skeptic and Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini.

At the same time, many experts believe that such tough actions on the part of Brussels will only strengthen the position of euro-skeptics and populists in Italy.

In accordance with EU rules, countries should try to keep a budget deficit no higher than 3% of GDP; the ratio of public debt to GDP should not exceed 60%. Currently, Italy’s national debt amounts to 132% of GDP and, as representatives of the European Commission have repeatedly pointed out, it is not declining at a sufficiently rapid pace.

"(The report) concluded that the criterion of debt is not met, and therefore the procedure of excessive deficit based on debt is justified," said Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis.

"To be clear, we are not launching the EDP today. First of all, the EU member states should express their opinion on the report, and then the economy and finance committee will have two weeks to form their opinion on our findings. But this is much more than just a procedure. When we look at the Italian economy, we see the damage that recent political decisions cause," he said.

The Italian government advocates higher spending and tax cuts to stimulate the economy and limit debt by increasing revenues. The current government plan provides for debt at 132.6% of GDP this year and 131.3% - in 2020.


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