Commission stands down in Italian budget fight

Brussels let Italy off the hook over its budget Wednesday for the second time in seven months.

The European Commission had in recent weeks threatened Rome with punitive measures for failing to address its high public debt and running up a bigger budget deficit than promised in December.

Rome this week managed to convince the EUs executive arm that it could bring its deficit down after recouping some €7.6 billion from value-added tax payments and lower-than-expected costs in some social programs, to make good on its Christmas deal.

“Thanks to these significant efforts we can see that Italy is on the whole respecting the rules of the pact in 2019,” Pierre Moscovici, economic policy commissioner, told reporters in Brussels.

EU spending rules, referred to as the stability and growth pact, say governments should keep their budget deficits under 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Debt should be limited to 60 percent of GDP.

Italys public debt is projected to reach 133.7 percent of GDP this year, while Rome has promised to keep its deficit to just over 2 percent of economic output.

Avoiding the excessive deficit procedure (EDP) today is a win for ItalRead More – Source