European Commission Ready To Forcibly Cut Italy's Excessive Public Debt - Commissioner

European Commission Ready to Forcibly Cut Italy's Excessive Public Debt - Commissioner

The European Commission is ready to apply the disciplinary action in order to reduce Italian excessive public debt, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici told journalists on Wednesday

BRUSSELS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th June, 2019) The European Commission is ready to apply the disciplinary action in order to reduce Italian excessive public debt, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici told journalists on Wednesday.

On June 5, the European Commission concluded that Italy had breached the EU fiscal rules because of its growing public debt and justified the launch of a disciplinary procedure, which may result in penalties for Italy. Nevertheless, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said he was optimistic that Rome could avoid such measures.

"Italy's debt is one of the highest in the world ... and it is in Italy's interest to tackle this. And this is why this Commission insists on reducing the Italian debt. The Commission stands ready to take into further elements that may be put forward by Italy ... No one should be in doubt that we will apply these rules if the criteria are not fulfilled," Moscobici said adding that "the ball was in Italy's court.

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He also noted that the Economic and Financial Committee of the European Union had already expressed support for the Commission's conclusions that coercive reduction of the Italian public debt was a justified procedure. So, the body was moving forward with the necessary procedural steps, Moscovici stressed.

However, the European Union cannot begin the reduction yet as EU member stats' opinion over the issue is required.

Italy's debt is currently over double the limit 132 percent of the national GDP and the pace at which it is being reduced has been deemed too slow by the European Union. EU fiscal regulations require each member state to keep their deficit and debt below 3 percent and 60 percent of their national GDPs, respectively. If a country fails to meet these standards, it is expected to take measures to reduce the figures within the given time frame.

In this regard, Italy may face 3 billion euro ($3.4 billion) penalty for disobeying EU budgetary regulations.

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