Published: Thu, October 18, 2018

The budget of Italy is unsettling the Eurozone

The budget of Italy is unsettling the Eurozone

"If we were to accept (...) the slippages compared to the european rules, it is true that in some countries, this would have the outcome of we to cover of insults and invectives, because my Committee and myself, we are accused by several governments in Europe (...) have been too flexible for Italy", he insisted.

"If we were to accept everything that the Italian government offers us, we would have counter-political backlash in other countries of the euro area", said Mr Juncker in an interview given to several radios and televisions in italy. "I am increasingly convinced that the financial lobbies in Brussels can not accept our presence in the government", he said.

While attracting worldwide criticism, the budget is popular with Italians. Should any corrections fail to appear, the Commission eventually has the power to recommend opening an excessive deficit procedure, setting out a fiscal path for Italy to balance its public accounts.

His comments came a day after Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini had described the European Union sanctions as a "social, cultural and economic absurdity". He added that it was no wonder that a Eurobarometer poll on Wednesday showed only 44 percent of Italians would vote to stay in the European Union in a referendum.

Already in July during a visit to Moscow, Salvini said he wanted to end sanctions against Russian Federation. "It's clear that it makes no sense that they are in place".

European Commission officials have expressed dismay and frustration at Italy's rebellious stance over spending but the coalition is largely unrepentant about its plans, throwing down the gauntlet to Brussels. Nearly two-thirds of the spending hike of €36.7 billion ($42.35 billion dollars) would be funded by a higher deficit in 2019. The government is forecasting a deficit of 2.4 percent next year, three times the previous government's projection.

The EU Commission is now reviewing Rome's budgetary plans and can formally raise concerns about it until next Monday.

On Friday, witnesses reported seeing a French police van cross the mountain border at Claviere, near the Italian ski resort of Sestriere, and making two black men get out in a wooded area before driving back the short distance to France. You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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