The situation in Italy is one of the “political risks” on the horizon for the European Union ahead of the country’s March 4 general election, according to the European Union’s Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.
“Italy is preparing for elections, the outcome of which is somewhat uncertain,” Moscovici told a press conference in Paris on January 16. “What ruling majority will emerge from the vote? What programme? What European commitment?”
As reported by the Italian news agency ANSA, Moscovici also blasted a proposal by the 5-Star Movement’s Italian premier candidate Luigi Di Maio to break the EU’s 3% limit on the deficit-to-GDP ratio.
“It’s an absolute contradiction,” Moscovici said. “The 3% ceiling has a very precise sense to stop debt rising further. Reducing the deficit means combating debt and combating debt means boosting growth.”
In a separate report, The Local noted that Moscovici acknowledged the high level of public debt in Italy and said that further reforms were needed. But, he added: “Italy is like a cat; it always lands on its feet”.
Last August, Italy posted its best annual economic growth figures since 2011.