European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a German broadcaster he was “moderately concerned” about Italy’s relations with the European Union after the European Commission said Rome’s 2019 budget draft breached EU budget rules.

The Italians are moving away not just from what they have promised us but also away from the minimum requirements of the Stability Pact. So, said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

In an interview with Germany’s n-tv, Junkcer said he was “moderately concerned” about Italy’s relations with the EU after the Commission said Rome’s 2019 budget draft violated EU budget rules (known as the Stability and Growth Pact).

As reported by the Reuters news agency, Rome was given until November 13 to present a new budget. The Commission has warned it could start disciplinary steps against Rome later this month.

Meanwhile, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on November 12 he expected Italy to take steps to resolve a row with EU authorities over its 2019 budget and he was a “quite optimistic” about a solution to the dispute.

Scholz said nobody would demand the Italian government pursue a policy of austerity.

“(But) whoever has 130% of their GDP in debt must act more cautiously than someone who is in a different position,” told the foreign press association in Berlin.

“I expect the Italian government will take the necessary decisions that make it possible to avoid getting into difficulties…We are quite optimistic that in the end there will be a good solution.”

Scholz said that with positive economic data in many regions “it would be wrong to say one can’t look positively into the future”, but that the economic outlook was also marked by geopolitical risks.