Today, the Commission has presented its European Semester 2019 Spring Package and concluded that for Italy a debt-based Excessive Deficit Procedure is warranted. If EU Member States back this assessment in the next two weeks, the EU Commission could subsequently recommend to start the procedure against Italy, possibly before a meeting of EU finance ministers in early July. Under the under Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure, Germany is still monitored because of its slowly declining current account surplus but the Commission did not put forward any measures.
Sven Giegold MEP, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group comments:
“Unfortunately, Italy continues to flaunt the rules of the Stability Pact, so an excessive deficit procedure is logical. A common currency needs common rules, and we will only have stable Eurozone if the rules are adhered to.
“However, while the Commission is forced to act, it must ensure that the Italian people do not suffer at the will of the market or the whims of their fractious government. Prime Minister Conte’s appeal to revise common budget rules should be listened to carefully, as governments need more scope for spending during crises and incentives for investment as well as binding rules for reserves during the good times.”
“The Commission must end its selective approach to dealing with transgressions in the Eurozone. The excessive current account surplus of Germany is destabilising the Eurozone, just as the excessive budget deficit of Italy does. This Janus-faced approach to dealing with instability in the Eurozone only serves to undermine the long term stability of the whole project.”