Europe would appreciate if Italy sticks to the rules: ECB member

Big 5

Italy should stick to its promises and respect the European fiscal rules, a member of the European Central Bank (ECB) told CNBC Thursday. His remarks come at a time when Rome is preparing its future spending plans.

“It would be very much appreciated if Italy were able to stick to its promises and stick to its commitments as regards the stability and the growth pact — the set of European fiscal rules —because we all live in the euro area and every member state is expected to respect the rules,” Olli Rehn, Governor of the Bank of Finland and member of the ECB governing council, told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach in Helsinki.

The Italian government has sparked further tensions with its European counterparts after announcing last week that it is going to increase spending in 2019, meaning that public deficit will reach 2.4 percent of GDP.

The previous government in Rome had told the European institutions that Italy’s deficit would be 0.8 percent in 2019. The significant increase in spending has not been well-received by some officials in Brussels.

European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici said Wednesday that the 2.4 percent deficit figure risks breaking European rules. The Italian government is finalizing the details of its 2019 budget and has to send it to the European Commission for analysis by the 15th of October.

Source: CNBC