The provisional budgets of Italy and France for 2020 may be in violation of the EU budget rules. The European Commission writes this on Tuesday in letters to the local finance ministers. The committee asks them for clarification in this regard.

According to a preliminary assessment, Italy's budget is inadequate in terms of reducing spending as recommended by the EU, Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici write. Italy's debts would not be sufficiently reduced in this way. Similar shortcomings apply to France.

The letters are a warning to the countries. If the French and Italians cannot sufficiently substantiate why the budget is structured in this way, or if no adjustments are made to comply with EU rules, Europe may opt for sanctions.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Tuesday that the necessary information about the budget will be provided. France has also indicated that it will supplement the requested information. Italy has asked for extra room due to 'unusual circumstances'.

Spain, Portugal and Belgium were also warned by the European Commission on Tuesday, because they did not yet provide a complete budget before the deadline of 15 October. Finland was also blamed for over-spending.