EC demands Italy change its budget

Infringement proceedings possible says Commission Vice President

(ANSA) - Brussels, November 6 - Italy may face an infringement procedure if the government does not change its draft budget plan for 2019, European Commission Vice-President for the Euro Valdis Dombrovskis said Tuesday. The Commission has rejected the plan, which sees Italy running a deficit of 2.4% of GDP next year, saying it would breach the Stability and Growth Pact.
    It has told Rome to change the package by November 13.
    The Commission "is considering" a procedure against Italy over its big public debt and, for this reason, it is preparing a report on the debt, Dombrovskis said.
    "We did this in previous years too, concluding that Italy was effectively in line with the requirements of the Pact and so we did not open the procedure.
    "But in this case, if the budget plan document does not change tangibly, we will have to reconsider the conclusions".
    The government has said it does not intend to revise the budget, arguing an expansive package is needed to boost growth and bring down the debt-to-GDP ratio.