The European Commission has begun proceedings against Italy over its planned 2019 budget, after Rome refused to make changes.
Yesterday, the EU began a formal process that could lead to financial sanctions.
The Commission considers the Italian budget draft to be in particularly serious non-compliance with EU fiscal rules and opted for a procedure for excessive debt.
Pierre Moscovici said there are unsolved doubts about increasing debt. He said: "Who will pay the bill for this extra spending? We continue to believe that this budget carries risks for Italy’s economy, for its companies, for its savers and for its taxpayers”.
When asked how to reply to the letter of the Commission, Italian Vice Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said: "I was also waiting for Santa Claus’s letter. We will discuss politely as always we have always done. We will go on "
The Italian government defends its plan saying it would boost the economy, despite the economic forecast provided by the Commission indicate a lower growth.
Italy believes that a departing European Commission has no political weight to go further with disciplinary measures but the pressure from other member states is considerable.