Comments by Italy's economy minister Giovanni Tria on Italy's budget response to the European Commission's concerns

  • Italy doesn't intend to raise structural deficit after 2019
  • There was a constructive dialogue on the budget; decision was hard but necessary
  • Says that Italy's place is in Europe and the euro area
  • Says that committed to reduce structural deficit in direction starting from 2022
  • To bring back structural deficit towards medium-term objective if GDP speeds up
  • Says Italy will go off the path of structural deficit adjustment in 2019
  • But does not intend to further expand deficit in 2020-2021 period
  • Government is ready to intervene so that objectives are respected
  • Recognises that it has different views with the EU but will continue to have constructive and loyal dialogue

The issue about promising something in 2020 and 2021 is that if things don't fall in place next year, those "promises" are nothing but empty words. Considering that Italy is to stick with the deficit targets initially proposed, it's not going to change the European Commission's mind at this point.

This is going to be a drawn out issue for the coming weeks. The commission has acknowledged the receipt of Italy's response and says that they will determine the next steps in assessing Italy's budget tomorrow.