Germany bond spread hits highest level since 2013 over European Union budget dispute

Oct 22, 2018, 00:24
Germany bond spread hits highest level since 2013 over European Union budget dispute

A recent report from the European Commission found that Italy's budget had deviated from Brussels' joint budget rules that mandate budget deficits should be below 3 percent of each member-state's GDP, while total debt burden should not exceed 60 percent of the GDP.

Italy's planned government spending growth of 2.7% is about 2.6% higher than the maximum allowed under European Union rules, which cap this at 0.1%, and allows the European Union executive to accuse Italy of non-compliance with the budgetary policy obligations, even as it tried to continue constructive dialogue with Italy to reach a final assessment. The increase suggests investors are more nervousness about the impending budget showdown with the EU.

The European Commission has warned Italy that its higher-than-expected budget deficit targets represent an unprecedented deviation from EU budget rules.

"I can not imagine a Europe without Italy or Italy without Europe", Moscovici said. Even a default on Italy's debt alone might not be enough to capsize the entire Eurozone - but coupled with a possible "no-deal" Brexit, Italy's brewing crisis could deal significant damage to the euro area.

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The head of one of Italy's two ruling parties says the government won't fall over a dispute on the budget draft, which would offer a tax amnesty to Italians with accounts overseas.

The government asked Brussels to sanction a 2.4% annual spending deficit next year that would increase the country's total debt to GDP level, which is now the second highest in the European Union behind Greece at 131%.

"We [the commission] were very kind, gentle, and positive, when it came to Italy, because Italy is Italy", Juncker said, adding that in the last three years Rome was able to €30bn more without sanctions by the EU's stability rules.

Conte will fly home to another controversy.

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The populist government, made up of the 5-Star Movement and Salvini's League, planned an emergency Cabinet meeting later Saturday to discuss the budget and claims by the 5-Star leader that unauthorized changes were made to the draft budget.

The letter stated that Italy's budget proposal, which was initially announced in September was in contravention of the EU's budget regulations.

He wasn't the only critic, with former Eurogroup chief, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, warning that an Italian budget crisis would lead to an "implosion" within the country's fragile banking sector.

Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio, who heads the Five Star Movement, blamed Brussels for the movement, saying in a video posted on his Facebook page that the spread widened "because the markets think that the government is no longer united".

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But Salvini, who is also leader of the right-wing League party, said the decree containing the proposal had to stay as it was if they did not want to create a unsafe precedent.