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EU welcomes Renzi measures, but recalls budget obligations

Commission waiting for details of legislation

13 March, 13:16
EU welcomes Renzi measures, but recalls budget obligations (see related stories) (ANSA) - Brussels, March 13 - The European Commission "welcomes" the economic reforms and income tax cuts Premier Matteo Renzi announced Wednesday, the spokesperson for European Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said Thursday.

But the spokesperson added that the EC would only be able to properly assess the measures when it has the "details of the legislation" and stressed that Rome must abide by its budget commitments. "It is important to respect the rules of the stability pact, which means balancing the budget in structural terms and being in line with the debt rules," the spokesman said.

Renzi said plans to cut income taxes by 10 billion euros, invest 1.74 billion euros in social housing programs, spend 3.5 billion euros on schools, repay 68 billion euros in outstanding bills for government services by July would not caused Italy to breach the 3%-deficit-to-threshold allowed by the EU. But the EU wants Italy to do more than just stay under the 3% deficit limit.

The EC recently said it was putting Italy under "specific monitoring" over its "excessive macroeconomic imbalances" including a public debt of over two trillion euros, saying the 2014 budget does not do enough to bring this down.