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EU Commission: “particularly serious non-compliance” with the rules of the Stability Pact by Italy. Towards an infringement procedure

Jean-Claude Juncker

(Brussels) Nothing new about the budgetary plan that Italy had submitted in October in Brussels. Today the European Commission presented – within the European Semester process – the economic and social priorities of the European Union for the year 2019, providing its opinions on draft budgetary plans and confirming the existence of a “particularly serious non-compliance” with the Stability and Growth Pact in the case of Italy. Indeed, the Commission adopted the opinions on the draft budgetary plans of the euro area Member States, in which compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact is assessed, saying: “In the case of Italy, having assessed the revised Draft Budgetary Plan (DBT) presented on 13 November, the Commission confirms the existence of a particularly serious case of non-compliance with the Recommendation addressed to Italy by the Council on 13 July 2018. The Commission had already adopted an Opinion on 23 October 2018 identifying a particularly serious non-compliance in the initial DBP presented by Italy on 16 October 2018”. In other words, the Commission rejected Italy’s budgetary plan. The report on the fiscal plan reads: “Our analysis suggests that the debt criterion should be considered as not complied with, and that a debt-based Excessive Deficit Procedure is thus warranted”. Thus, the Italian Government may face an excessive deficit procedure. Among the concerns raised by the Commission is Italy’s structural deficit, failure to take action to reduce its debt, and discontinuation of the reforms needed for its fiscal consolidation. The point made at the press conference was that Italy’s fiscal plan will worsen the situation: “We continue to believe that this budget creates risks for citizens, businesses and Italian taxpayers: we are taking decisions to protect their interests”.

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