The provisional budgets of France and Italy for 2020 may be in violation of EU budget rules. The European Commission warns for this on Wednesday. Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Slovenia and Slovakia are also at risk.
With the current proposals, the countries would not sufficiently address their debts and budget deficits. For this, official goals have been set, which just now appear to be not being achieved. For example, EU countries with debts higher than 60 percent of GDP must gradually reduce them. There is also a 3 percent ceiling for budget deficits.
"We are most concerned about the budgets of high-debt countries that are not being repaid quickly enough," said Vice-President of the Valdis Dombrovskis Commission. He mainly refers to France, Italy, Belgium and Spain.
Italy currently has debts of 136.2 percent of GDP, which would rise to 136.8 percent with the 2020 budget. France's debts amount to almost 100 percent of GDP, and the budget deficit for 2020 would come to 3.1 percent of GDP.
Adjusting budgets is in no hurry
Dombrovskis urges the countries to adjust their budgets so that the European rules are complied with. There is no huge rush, because the risks are better than expected.
In 2018, Italy was urged to take immediate action, because at the time the European Commission clearly considered that the budget was contrary to European targets for reducing debts and deficits.
If a country does not achieve such goals, the committee can issue sanctions. So far it has never happened.