January 15, 2021

The Italian prime minister sees no margin to change the 2019 budget

The Italian prime minister sees no margin to change the 2019 budget


"We have studied it very well, I would say there is no margin," he told the media when he arrived at the summit of Heads of State and Government of the European Union.

Conte has argued that the budget plan is "articulated" to "reverse the trend" towards which the Italian economy was "oriented". "We want to grow and do it (because it is in the) interest of all Europe", he explained.

When asked about the possibility of Brussels rejecting the draft and forcing him to present a new one, the Italian prime minister has relied on maintaining a "constructive dialogue" with the European authorities.

A few hours before Conte gave these statements, the Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Günther Oettinger, said that it is "very likely" that the EU executive asked the Italian government to "correct" the budget draft that he sent on Monday with a public deficit tripling that agreed with Brussels.

"My personal opinion is that based on the figures it is very likely that we will have to ask Italy to correct its budget draft," wrote the German commissioner on the social network Twitter.

Community sources have informed Europa Press that it is "probable" that the letter will be sent to Italy in the "next few days" to ask for explanations for the "significant" deviation from the previously agreed fiscal objectives.

The budget draft of 2019 sent by Italy last Monday provides a public deficit equivalent to 2.4% of GDP, a figure that is three times higher than the 0.8% agreed between Rome and the community authorities.

After this first letter, Rome should answer the community executive explaining the reasons that led him to breach the agreed objectives. If Brussels considers that they are not enough, it could claim a new budget plan from the Italian Government, which in practice would mean that it has rejected the first.

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