The European Commission to reject Italian budget

European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Guenther Oettinger speaks at a press briefing on the EU budget for the future, on the side of a international conference in Brussels, Belgium, 12 October 2018. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

Italy stands its ground


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The European Commission will reject Italy’s 2019 budget.

In a statement to Der Spiegel magazine, European Commissioner Guenter Oettinger said that Italy’s budget will be rejected, “in his personal opinion.” That is still not the final position of the European Commission, he later clarified via Twitter.

Der Spiegel also reports that a letter from Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici will arrive in Rome either on Thursday or Friday. Moscovici will make no suggestions, but will just point to deviations from original projections.

The rejection would be unprecedented. That would mean Italy would be asked to draft a new budget. It is also unusual that the Commission reacts immediately, rather than taking the full two weeks at its disposal.

In a reaction on Wednesday, Italian deputy prime minister Salvini said that Italy will not change its budget. “Brussels shouldn’t even dream of sending us the troika,” Salvini said, according to the public news agency ANSA.

“All the European commissioners should start behaving like serious people and bite their tongues three times before making statements,” the MS5 deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio said.

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