The EU Commission views the economic development of the coming months with mixed feelings - and the budgetary policies of the member states.

His authority is holding on to its optimistic economic forecast for the coming year for the time being, said EU Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni in Brussels on Wednesday.

“But there is no doubt that the headwind has increased.” The pandemic situation, which has recently deteriorated significantly, and the associated renewed restrictions on economic life, especially in the field of contact-based services, increased the risks.

“But there will certainly not be an economic slump like the one in the last lockdown.

Because we have enough vaccine. "

Werner Mussler

Business correspondent in Brussels.

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In its autumn forecast, presented by Gentiloni just two weeks ago, the Commission expects record growth of 5.0 percent for the EU this year, and for the next two years it calculates at 4.3 and 2.4 percent. At the moment, the Italian said on Wednesday: "Strong upward trend after the pandemic, but also high risks." Together with Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, who is responsible for economics, Gentiloni presented the commission analysis of the national budget plans for the coming year on Wednesday, with the the EU authority traditionally opens the “European Semester”. In the "semester", the Commission assesses the economic and financial policies of the Member States. 

The Commission is comparatively clearly expressing its concern about budget developments in Italy. The government in Rome must ensure that government spending does not continue to rise as before, said Dombrovskis. The Commission's report says the Italian government is not doing enough to prevent nationally funded government spending from getting out of hand. Italy also benefits particularly strongly from funds financed by Europe from the Corona development fund. It is of course unlikely that the government in Rome will face serious difficulties with the EU Commission because of its budget plan. Gentiloni said, referring to his home country, the government must also keep an eye on the economy. "Without growth, states cannot reduce their debts."

In its reports, the Commission calls for four other highly indebted countries - Greece, Spain, France and Belgium - to adopt “prudent” fiscal policies. In view of their high indebtedness, these states would have to ensure that their medium-term debt sustainability is maintained. In general, the Commission believes that a “moderately expansionary” fiscal policy is still justified for the coming year in order to support the transition out of the corona crisis.

In addition to the budget plans, the EU authority traditionally also examines economic policy in November.

In it, she again found macroeconomic imbalances in a number of countries this year.

As in the previous year in Italy, Greece and Cyprus, the authority provisionally classifies the imbalances as “excessive”.

The remaining nine countries with imbalance include Germany again because of its high export surplus.