The Eurogroup supports Brussels in its proceedings against Italy and asks Spain for further adjustments

After more than 14 hours of meeting, the Ministers of Economy and Finance of the euro area (Eurogroup) have agreed on a statement on the budgetary situation of each country: they support the European Commission in its sanctioning procedure against Italy for excessive debt and asks Spain, among other countries, more adjustments. That is, "additional measures [en los presupuestos para 2019 presentados y que apuntan a no ser aprobados por las Cortes] to address the risks identified by the Commission and comply with "the Stability and Growth Pact.

The Eurogroup notes that, according to the Commission's assessment, it is considered that the plans of five Member States run the risk of non-compliance with the Stability and Growth Plan in 2019: Belgium, France, Portugal, Slovenia - under the preventive arm of the Pact- and Spain, evaluated under the assumption of a timely and lasting correction of the excessive deficit. According to the Commission's assessment, the budget drafts of these Member States could lead to a significant deviation from the adjustment path towards their respective medium-term adjustment objectives. Furthermore, Belgium, France, Portugal and Spain are not expected to comply prima facie with the debt reduction targets in 2019. The Eurogroup invites all these Member States to consider in a timely manner the additional measures necessary to address the risks identified by the Commission. and to ensure that its 2019 budget complies with the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact.

Brussels already noted on November 21 that Spain's budget draft for 2019 contained "risks of default on the debt and adjustment targets".

"The draft submitted by Spain presents risks of non-compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact in 2019, by virtue of the projection of the Autumn Economic Forecast of 2018, which foresees a significant deviation from the required adjustment path towards the medium-term budgetary objective. and non-compliance with debt reduction in 2019, "stated the Commission's evaluation.

The Ministers of Economy and Finance addressed the evaluations of the Community Executive during a meeting that began on Monday at 1:00 pm and whose analysis on the budgets of the countries was published after 3:00 in the morning.

With regard to Italian budgets, the Eurozone's Ministers of Economy and Finance have supported the European Commission's assessment of the Italian Government's budget plan for 2019, which it considers to be a "particularly serious breach" of the EU rules because of its excessive debt.

The Eurogroup recalls that, in its opinion delivered on 23 October 2018, the Commission detected a particularly serious breach of the recommendation addressed to Italy by the Council on 13 July 2018 and requested a revised draft budget. Italy submitted a revised draft on November 13, on which the Commission issued another opinion on November 21, confirming the existence of a particularly serious breach of the Council's recommendation. We support the Commission's assessment and recommend that Italy take the necessary measures to comply with the Stability and Growth Pact. We also support the ongoing dialogue between the Commission and the Italian authorities.

The EU executive has opened an excessive deficit procedure for Italy due to its high public debt, the second highest in the EU (131.1% of GDP). The States already supported this process last Thursday through its Economic Policy Committee - formed by experts from the national ministries - with which Brussels could already initiate the procedures to open this file.

The Commission and the Italian Government are still negotiating and the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, has considered on Monday that "progress" has been achieved, although there are still "significant" differences between the position of Rome and Brussels.

Statement on the Draft Budgetary Plans for 2019


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