The European Commission will request clarification from the Government about the details of the budget draft for 2019 in a letter that, according to European standards, is only sent to the capitals if the services of the Community Executive detect a «Particularly serious risk of non-compliance».
According to sources confirmed by La Moncloa, Brussels will send this letter in the coming days (it is not ruled out that it will arrive tomorrow) and not this Thursday. Clarification will also be sought from a group of five or six countries in the eurozone, among which, except surprise, you will find Italy.
The same sources have specified that it is "clarifications" and "technical details", as well as that it is neither a "warning" nor a "wake-up call". They have also indicated that the Government has "absolute peace of mind" on this issue, especially after the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, left with a positive impression of the Spanish budget after his bilateral meeting with Pedro Sánchez.
The analysis of the Community Executive in the specific case of the Spanish budget plan focuses on finding out if complies with the structural effort required of Spain for next year. The path of fiscal consolidation requires structural adjustments equivalent to 0.65% of GDP, but the draft includes an adjustment of 0.4%, using the flexibility allowed by the rules (dividing half a percentage point of the effort in two years).
Therefore, the adjustment would fall within what is acceptable as stipulated in the Stability and Growth Pact, but before the Community Executive must verify that indeed the measures announced by the Government effectively imply an effort compatible with the rules.
The sending of the letter is the first step in the procedure after all the governments of the euro zone sent their budget drafts by 2019 last Monday. Brussels has a period of one week (until Monday) to request clarifications from those capital whose plans generate doubts, but this does not mean that you will reject the accounts.
This would only happen if the clarifications sent by the Government still do not convince the Commissioner of Economic and Monetary Affairs, Pierre Moscovici. In that case, it I would send a second letter in which Brussels would claim a new budget within three weeks.