Italy’s budget may not meet EU fiscal targets, according to the bloc’s executive body.
The European Commission wants Rome to explain why it expects to have a higher than expected budget deficit of 2.7 percent of GDP next year.
“We consider that the figures don’t adapt when we look at the structural effort required by the EU Council. We are very conscious, and the EU council also, that Italy is on the frontline to welcome refugees and has to be taken into account, than we have to examine the figures,” said Pierre Moscovici, the EU economic commissioner.
The key issue is the country’s structural deficit – when a government consistently has a fundamental negative imbalance between revenues and spending.
Rome was supposed to cut it by six percentage points next year, instead they see it rising by six percent points to 1.6 percent.
“Actually Italy has done a lot already. What we have been arguing is that if there was EU support with regard to the costs we are undertaking on our-own with migrants, so Italy would be able to present different figures,” said Simona Bonafé, a left-wing Italian MEP.
In 2013, EU governments agreed to give the European Commission more powers to police eurozone budgets and enforce fiscal discipline where necessary.