"They are a source of serious concern"
There are ten days left for the EU Member States to send their budget projects to Brussels. But the intentions publicly expressed by the Italian Government, including its downward correction in the deficit targets, still do not please the community authorities.
Italy initially announced a deficit of 2.4% for the next three years, before the alarm of the community institutions for expansive budgets that sought to reduce the debt in relation to GDP through economic growth derived from higher public spending. But the president of the European Commission warned that nothing less than the single currency, the euro, was being put at risk.
The Government of the Northern League and M5S accused the pressures of institutions and markets, and announced a progressive decrease of the deficit -2.4%, 2.1% and 1.8% - for the next three years.
"We also note that, according to the Italian Government's forecasts, the new targets would correspond to a structural deterioration of 0.8% of GDP in 2019 and a stable structural balance in 2020-2021," say the commissioners of the Euro and Economic Affairs, Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici: "The Council's recommendations call on Italy to ensure that the nominal growth rate of interest-free government spending does not exceed 0.1% in 2019, which corresponds to an annual structural adjustment of 0.6% of GDP for 2019. "
And they add: "The revised budgetary targets of Italy seem to point to a significant deviation from the fiscal trajectory recommended by the Council, which is therefore a source of serious concern." We ask the Italian authorities to ensure that the bill budget is consistent with the common tax rules and we hope to see in detail the measures it will contain ".
The tension between Brussels and Rome, which is now formalized with the Commission's letter, has been growing in the last. The penultimate episode was when the leader of the far-right Northern League, Matteo Salvini, accused Juncker of having problems with alcohol.
"I speak only with sober people." This is how Matteo Salvini has delivered the words of the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, who predicted the end of the euro and a crisis like the Greek one if Italian intentions were not checked.
Brussels may end up twisting the arm to Rome, and get it to become "a normal country", as now it is Greece in the words of Moscovici, but meanwhile will pave the way for an electoral increase of the extreme right-wing Northern League; its internal allies -M5S- and external -Viktor Orbán, Steve Bannon, Marine Le Pen and company.
Economic and Financial Document of the Italian Government by eldiario.es on Scribd