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Juncker says Rome must meet commitments, after receiving budget plans

Europe
16.10.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Brussels (dpa) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Tuesday that Italy must respect the commitments it has made, after receiving the country‘s 2019 budget plans.

Italy‘s populist government had already come under fire for its plan to stimulate the economy with a spending hike of 36.7 billion euros (42.5 billion dollars) in 2019, almost two-thirds of which would be funded by a higher deficit.

All 19 eurozone members had to submit their 2019 spending plans to the commission by midnight on Monday. The European Union‘s executive has until the end of November to cast a final verdict on whether they are in line with EU budget rules.

The commission will discuss the Italian budget "with the respect that we owe Italy & on the basis of the figures received," Juncker told Italian journalists in comments tweeted by his spokeswoman Mina Andreeva.

"For me, the results count. Commitments made must be respected," the tweet added, noting that the commission was "not interfering" in the sovereignty of the Italian government.

Rome, along with the other eurozone capitals, had submitted their draft budget on time, commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said in Brussels.

"Our job now, as per the rules, is to analyze, look into these plans and engage in a meaningful exchange with the government and do our recommendations to the Eurogroup [of eurozone finance ministers]," he added.

Earlier this month, commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici warned that Italy‘s proposed budget deficit appeared to represent a "significant deviation" from the economic path agreed by Rome and other member states.

 

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