Salvini accuses EU of double standards over Italy's budget

International | Written by : IANS| Updated: Fri, Dec 14, 2018, 12:40 AM

Salvini accuses EU of double standards over Italy's budget

Jerusalem  :  Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini on Wednesday said that the European Union (EU) should treat Italy and France equally over their higher than originally planned budget deficits next year.

"I am confident that common sense will prevail in Brussels, also in light of an EY commissioner who said that France do what it likes while all eyes are on Italy," Salvini on Facebook on Wednesday during a visit to Jerusalem.

"I am starting to get fed up with the double standards. It's not clear why some can breach the (eurozone fiscal) rules while Italy is in the cross-hairs," he said, referring to comments by European Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici that France and Italy's budget situations were not comparable.

Italy's premier Giuseppe Conte was on Wednesday due to meet European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels in a bid to avoid an EU disciplinary procedure which would keep Italy under prolonged market pressure and could lead to fines, cut in EU funding and other financial sanctions.

On Monday European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis urged Italy to make "substantial" changes to its expansionary 2019 budget which targets a 2.4 per cent deficit to fund welfare and pensions spending, and which the Commission says will not cut Italy's massive debt pile as required under EU rules.

"Time is very limited," Valdis Dombrovskis told EU lawmakers during an EU parliament hearing in Strasbourg.