June 2, 2019
PARIS (Reuters) – European Economic Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Sunday that the EU’s executive arm will make proposals next week aimed at resolving its dispute with Italy over its budget deficit.
Moscovici said he preferred dialogue to sanctions as a means to enforce the bloc’s budget rules.
“For the past five years I have not punished anyone,” Moscovici said on FranceInter radio.
“If they do not respect the rules at all, it will be necessary for the European Commission and the European states to take their responsibilities. Europe is also a co-ownership, there are rules that everyone must respect,” he said, adding that “For now my motto is: dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.”
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Tuesday that the European Commission could impose a 3 billion euro fine on Italy for breaking EU rules due to its rising debt and structural deficit levels.
Italy has said it would respect the bloc’s fiscal rules in its next budget.
(Reporting by Bate Felix and Caroline Pailliez; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)