Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio made clear that the country’s coalition government is in no mood to pursue the EU’s preferred method of austerity politics to put the Italian budget back on track, saying sharply, “Let’s be clear. We (the Italian government) will be responsible but not stupid. If people are thinking that we want to cut services, pensions, resources for schools and universities, they will find a reinforced concrete wall in the government.”
Di Maio said that Italy wanted to prevent an infringement procedure by the European Commission, but that the government will go its own way when it comes to cutting taxes and showing “responsibility and loyalty to Italians.”
Eurogroup President Mario Centeno called on Italy to follow EU’s budget rules, following a finance ministers summit in Luxembourg on 14 June. The Eurogroup authorised the European Commission to relaunch infringement proceedings and said it was standing by to reevaluate its position if Italy moves to adhere to the EU’s demands.