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Italy Stands Firm on Budget, EU Starts Disciplinary Procedures

Italy Stands Firm on Budget, EU Starts Disciplinary Procedures

Italy`s now in hot water in the European Union because it is making it clear that it will listen to the needs of the voting population, the Italian citizens and focus on their needs as opposed to the demands and directives imposed by the European Union.

The European Commission is now preparing a response to the Italian budget decision. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini would be willing to revise some parts of the  2019 budget, as Brussels reviews the possible responses (still, the view is that Italy will hold firm on the core components of the budget). In a series of articles, there seems to be contradictions and even poor reporting as Italian leadership is likely being misquoted. However, it is clear the Italy is now defiant and is insisting that it has more control over its budget in the future.

There also seems to be multiple voices coming out the the coalition government, again causing confusion in the press. As a side note, the Italian government has challenged the EU by stopping boats of migrants from entering southern Italy from North Africa. Again this is another story for another article. But it does underscore the Italian opposition to unpopular policy taken on by the European Union.

The newly elected government of Italy cares about Italian sovereignty and the people seem to embrace it.

The European Commission, the EU executive arm, said that the current budget does not comply with the requirements set to reduce deficits. The Commission will launch what is called Excessive Deficit Procedure and said that this could lead to Italy being fined. Since Italy submitted its 2019 spending plan to the Brussels in October, it has been widely seen as the key source of confrontation with EU/EC. New reports now say that the Italian government is refusing to amend its budget plans and that Italy is prepared for fines – likely to come in 2019.

The draft budget, which has basic income for the poor, tax cuts and changes to pension reform was flatly rejected by Brussels and has triggered talk of punishment. It appears that this budget will not be adjusted as the current coalition government feels that it will continue to challenge the European Commission. More on this rapidly changing story in the coming weeks.

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