October 29, 2019 / 3:11 PM / 24 days ago

EU not seeking to ask Italy to change 2020 budget: Dombrovskis

FILE PHOTO - European Commissioner-designate for An Economy that Works for People Valdis Dombrovskis of Latvia speaks as he attends his hearing before the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union’s euro economy commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said on Tuesday that Brussels was not considering asking for changes to Italy’s 2020 budget.

Under EU regulations, the European Commission can force countries to amend their budgetary plans if they are found to be in serious breach of fiscal rules.

Such a request would be made by the end of October, if at all. But Dombrovskis told a conference in Brussels: “This is not what is currently being considered.”

Last week, the Commission asked Rome for clarifications on its draft budget over a planned rise in spending.

The Commission will continue assessing the Italian budget in coming weeks, Dombrovskis said.

A report on Rome’s compliance with EU rules will be issued on October 20, EU officials said, alongside reports on the budgets of other euro zone countries.

Last week, another EU commissioner, Pierre Moscovici ruled out a repeat of last year’s clash when Brussels requested changes to the Italian budget amid a row that rattled markets.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska/Chizu Nomiyama/Jane Merriman

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