The European Commission has identified in the draft budgetary plan submitted by Italy for 2019 a particularly serious non-compliance with the fiscal recommendation addressed to Italy by the Council, including Italy, on 13 July 2018.
The Commission also notes that the plan is not in line with the commitments presented by Italy in its Stability Programme of April 2018. In line with the relevant rules, the Commission has adopted an Opinion that requests Italy to submit a revised draft budgetary plan within three weeks. This is the first time that the Commission has requested the presentation of a revised draft budgetary plan. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “The euro area is built on strong bonds of trust, underpinned by rules that are the same for everybody. It is our job and duty to uphold common interest and mutual commitments taken by the member countries. Italy’s debt is among the highest in Europe, and Italian taxpayers spend about the same amount on it as on education. In this spirit, we see no alternative but to request the Italian government to revise its draft budgetary plan for 2019, and we look forward to an open and constructive dialogue in the weeks to come.” Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “The Opinion adopted today by the Commission should come as no surprise to anyone, as the Italian Government’s draft budget represents a clear and intentional deviation from the commitments made by Italy last July. However, our door is not closing: we wish to continue our constructive dialogue with the Italian authorities. I welcome Minister Tria’s commitment to this end and we must move forward in this spirit in the coming weeks.” The Opinion is available here. A press release and memo are available online.