EU expects firm euro zone backing on Italy

FUKUOKA: The European Commission expects strong support from euro zone finance ministers for the view that disciplinary steps against Italy are warranted over the country’s growing debt, European Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said. The European Commission said last week that Italy’s growing public debt broke EU rules, opening the way to a possible disciplinary procedure that would trigger a clash with Rome’s anti-austerity government. “I expect strong backing from the member states to the approach of the Commission,” Moscovici said on the sidelines of G20 meeting in Fukuoka, Japan.
“It means we are now telling the Italian government that we need to have data, figures, measures, that demonstrate clearly that goals on fiscal policy, on deficits, that were agreed in December are met this year and that we also have to have serious reassurance for 2020 that fiscal policy is sound,” he said. Moscovici said he and several other euro zone finance ministers in Fukuoka held bilateral meetings with Italian Economy Minister Giovanni Tria to press that point. — Reuters