Despite recent signs of concession from Rome, the government does not abandon the targeted new debt for 2019. She wants to wait until a cost analysis.
Italy wants to stick to its deficit target in the dispute with the European Commission for the 2019 budget planning for the time being. After a meeting of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the heads of the governing coalition, Matteo Salvini and Luigi di Maio, the three politicians said that they wanted to wait until a cost analysis of the most important austerity measures for the coming year. The meeting was scheduled to discuss the financial package. The objectives already set were reaffirmed, according to the joint statement. However, government officials said the deficit target could be lowered due to the expected cost analysis.
In the ongoing conflict, Italy recently signaled concessions. According to two insiders, the government offers to reduce its deficit target for the coming year to 2.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). The 2.4 percent target so far would be three times as much as planned by the previous government and too high for the Brussels Commission.
Gentiloni urges Rome to give in to budget dispute
During a lecture on Monday evening in Berlin, however, former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni called on the current government in Rome to give in to the dispute. He sharply criticized the right-wing coalition and populist five-star movement: „The current government feels closer to Trump and Putin than to the European Union,“ said the Social Democrat politician, Italy, from December 2016 to 31 May this year had ruled.
Italy has isolated itself, said Gentiloni, a member of the former ruling party PD in the Parliament in Rome. „I hope the government is changing the budget and seeking a compromise,“ he added. Otherwise, the „very dangerous situation on the financial markets“ will continue, which could put the Italian economy in a serious situation.
Italy is sitting on a debt of about 130 percent of GDP. Last week, the Brussels authorities also rejected the revised budget bill from Rome for violations of EU rules. For Italy, therefore, a fine of up to 3.4 billion euros in the room.