October 22, 2019 / 7:39 AM / a month ago

Italy's 2020 budget at risk of breaching EU fiscal rules - Commission

STRASBOURG, Oct 22 (Reuters) - The European Commission said Italy’s draft budget for next year could be in breach of European Union fiscal rules and is seeking clarification from the Italian government by Wednesday, it said in a letter sent to Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri.

The letter, dated Oct. 22 and signed by economic commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici, said a preliminary assessment of the 2020 draft budget showed that it fell short of EU fiscal recommendations to reduce expenditure.

“Italy’s plan does not comply with the debt reduction benchmark in 2020,” the letter said, in a warning that could pave the way for a sanctions procedure if Italy does not provide sufficient clarification or make changes to the planned budget.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio Editing by Giles Elgood

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