The European Commission could decide to trigger a procedure to reject Italy’s 2019 budget plans which will lower the retirement age and allow for a partial amnesty on unpaid taxes. Though unprecedented, it is within Brussels’ toolbox to ensure euro zone countries comply with the bloc’s fiscal rules.
Should Italy refuse to budge on its budget, which does not comply with Brussels’ economic recommendations, the Reuters news agency outlined the following key dates and deadlines of a possible procedure against Italy’s far-right and populist coalition government.
Firstly, the Commission has until October 22 to identify “particularly serious non-compliance with the budgetary policy obligations” of a state.
Secondly, the Commission will have until October 29 to reject the budget and send it back to Italy. In this case, Rome would have until November 19 to revise the budget.
Then the Commission would have until December 10 to review and adopt a new opinion.
Ultimately, if Italy refuses to change its draft budget, the Commission could open an excessive deficit procedure against Rome, which would likely push Italy again into the market spotlight, and could also trigger fines.