The 19 finance ministers of the Euro that are known as the Eurogroup touched upon the issue of an agreement reached by the European Commission and the Italian government on the latter’s draft budgetary plan according to the group’s president Mario Centeno.
“I told him that there has been a tremendous work and very good negotiation between the Commission and the Italian government, although not easy of course,” said the Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici, who added that “the structural deviation was initially planned 0.8% has been reduced to nothing,” w
Moscovici added that while the two agreed to base the assessment on more credible forecasts, the budget that the Italian Parliament will approve will have a 2% deficit. He also underlined that the work that what was negotiated by the Commission was done with “the trust of all the ministers within the framework of the Eurogroup”.
Even if objections were later raised, the Commissioner underlined that the EU executive needs to have “full trust” in the proposals.
A Senior EU official confirmed later on January 21 that the lone minister who raised the objections was The Netherlands’ finance minister, Wopke Hoekstra.
According to the senior official, Hoekstra was attempting to shore up support from non-Euro area members, such as Sweden and Romania, to help stall the discussion, but the other ministers, along with the Commission, did not backHoekstra.