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EU's Oettinger warns Italy on budget payments

EU's Oettinger warns Italy on budget payments
FILE PHOTO: European Union Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger holds a news conference to present the EU executive's final proposal for the bloc's next long-term budget, in Brussels, Belgium, May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir   -   Copyright  Francois Lenoir(Reuters)
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BERLIN (Reuters) – European Union Commissioner Guenther Oettinger warned Italy on Wednesday that it would face interest payments if it does not pay its budget contributions due to a row over migrant policy.

Italy has threatened to veto the EU’s seven-year budget plan if the bloc does not share the burden of migrant arrivals.

Oettinger, a German who serves as the bloc’s budget commissioner, told Die Welt daily that Italy had shown it was a partner within the EU in fighting the migrant crisis and its consequences.

“One can only warn Rome not to entwine questions on migrant policy with the EU budget,” said Oettinger.

“All European members are obliged to pay their contributions on time. Anything else would be a breach of the treaty which would trigger interest payments,” he told the paper.

(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Alison Williams)

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