World Economy

Italy Will Respect EU Rules But Not Risk Depressing Economy

Italy Will Respect EU Rules But Not Risk Depressing EconomyItaly Will Respect EU Rules But Not Risk Depressing Economy

Perfectly aligned with Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni drew some red lines in its 2017 budget deficit negotiation with Brussels. 

He said the government will not approve corrective measures as requested by the EU, but only “expansionary policies” to support growth and face the “exceptional circumstances” of the earthquake and the migrant emergency. 

Gentiloni took the opportunity to clarify the budget issue during a press conference that followed the bilateral meeting, Friday in Madrid, with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, Italy24 reported. 

“As always, we will respect EU rules but without approving measures that can depress the economy and by continuing our commitment to the reform efforts that Italy is carrying through,” Gentiloni said. 

The prime minister said he hoped the European Union “is not deaf and blind about the exceptional circumstances faced by Italy, otherwise it would poorly serve the EU and also itself.” 

Asked about the measures to correct the 2017 budget sought by the European Commission, Gentiloni commented: “The expression ‘corrective measure’ puzzles me. Italy needs expansive policies, needs to accelerate substantial growth and sadly also faces the most exceptional circumstances one could have imagined in the past weeks.”

“Italy and Spain share the same positions on economic growth and can play a crucial role in the coming months especially as leading EU protagonists,” he said. “We come from different crisis experiences but there is a common issue: our interest in being aware of the importance of putting growth at the center of our policies.”

Gentiloni and Rajoy insisted on the excellent relationship between Rome and Madrid, as confirmed by €40 billion of trade, Italy being the second country for investment in Spain and Spain’s growing investment in Italy.

Both agreed to seek a bigger role in strengthening an embattled European Union during upcoming summits as France, Germany and other countries prepare for elections that could weaken western Europe’s leadership.

“Italy and Spain can play a key role in the coming months, primarily as protagonists in the European Union revival,” Gentiloni said. 


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