Italy to respond to European Commission's rejection of 2019 budget on Tuesday

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Rome will continue its fight against the European Commission after Brussels' powerful executive sent the populist government's draft budget plans back for reconsideration because they go against EU fiscal rules.

Although Italy did make minor adjustments, the revisions are not likely to persuade the Commission, putting Italy in a high-stakes standoff with Brussels that could result in financial sanctions.

"If you ask us to tackle waste, to find more resources, we can talk about that", M5S head and deputy prime minister Luigi di Maio said on Sunday.

However, the European Commission calculated that Italy's deficit would reach 2.9% of its Gross Domestic Product in 2019 and reach 3.1% in 2020, violating the EU's 3.0% budget limit.

The fine for refusing to review the budget could correspond to 0.2 percent of Italy's GDP - some 3.4 billion euros. He said the government was committed to staying within the 2.4 percent of GDP deficit target.

It had set yesterday as a deadline for Rome to respond to its objections.

"The budget will not change, neither in its balance sheet nor in its growth forecast. We have the conviction that this is the Budget needed for the country to get going again".

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Speaking Tuesday to the European Parliament, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU wanted to reach out to Italy, a founding member.

Italy's budget has raised eyebrows in Brussels and roiled markets because the country is already highly indebted, so it should have little margin to borrow even more. The EU has never fined a country for budget violations.

"Italy's public debt-to-GDP ratio, at 131.2 percent in 2017, is the second largest in the European Union.and one of the largest in the world, (representing) an average burden of 37,000 euros per inhabitant", the European Commission wrote on October 23, calling the debt "an inter-generational burden weighing on the standard of living of future Italians". The country's public debt levels sit at 131% of GDP, making it the fifth most indebted country in the world.

The Italian governing coalition argues an increase in spending will kick-start growth.

In a November 8 statement, Tria argued that "the European Commission's forecasts on Italy's deficit are in stark contrast with those of the Italian government and stem from a careless and biased analysis. we regret to note this technical failure on the part of the Commission". This Tuesday night, no amendment had been made to the text in which the european Commission does not want because it is not quite austere.

Vladis Dombrovskis, the EU Commissioner responsible for financial affairs, said: "From previous experiences, we've seen that damage to the economy can be done quickly, but then it takes years to fix".


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