Show Leniency On EU Fiscal Rules, Says Senior German MP

Show leniency on EU fiscal rules, says senior German MP

Berlin, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Jan, 2022 ) :The EU should continue to suspend strict fiscal rules to help debt-mired countries like Italy until the pandemic is over, the new chairman of the German parliament's powerful EU affairs committee told AFP Monday.

Anton Hofreiter, a senior Green party MP, said Rome in particular deserved leniency as it finds its feet again after the blows levelled by Covid-19.

That flexibility should also extend to countries making ambitious expenditures in climate protection, he added.

Asked how the EU should help struggling countries, Hofreiter replied, "by continuing to temporarily suspend the Stability Pact because we're really in a very special crisis".

"We don't know how long the corona crisis will continue," he said, sounding a more conciliatory note than new chancellor Olaf Scholz of the centre-left Social Democrats.

"Under (Prime Minister Mario) Draghi, Italy has done a lot of things well in recent months. No one has an interest in it sinking even deeper into an economic crisis."The European Union suspended its fiscal discipline rules in 2020, allowing eurozone members to boost their public spending in response to the pandemic.

Italy's public debt soared to 155 percent of its GDP -- more than double the EU's 60 percent ceiling -- and Brussels has expressed concern that it is still budgeting to spend too much this year.