MNI BRIEF: EC Unfazed By Italy's '23 Deficit Target Hike
Brussels is focussing is on Italy's post-GEC 2024 budget proposals due in late September.
The EU Commission will not be taking a public stance on the Italian government’s plan to raise its 2023 deficit target, with Brussels saying it will keep its focus on the 2024 plans, an EU source told MNI, as the General Escape Clause remains in place this year, giving Italy some leeway.
Italy is looking to increase its 2023 deficit target to just below 5.0% of GDP, up from the original target of just below 4.5%. (MNI: Italy To Raise 2023 Fiscal Deficit Target)
“The GEC (General Escape Clause) is in force this year, but not next – and that (latter discussion) is about the 2024 budget,” the source said.
The same official also noted that the Commission’s focus when the Italian 2024 budget plan is published in the next few weeks, would not be on the headline deficit in any case, with the fiscal recommendation to be "expressed in net primary expenditure, not in terms of the headline deficit", adding that the budget will be assessed later this year once adopted by Rome -- expected in late September.