EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici expects the Eurogroup to quickly agree to proceedings against Italy for violating European budget rules.

The EU finance ministers meet in Luxembourg on Thursday and Friday. “Let us not lose time,” said Moscovici. “I expect the Eurogroup to take stock and agree with our opinion that an excessive deficit procedure against Italy is justified.”

Until the proceedings are actually started, the European Commission will continue to take measures ‘to be taken in dialogue’ with Rome. “The Italian national debt is one of the highest in the world. We take that very seriously, “said Moscovici in Brussels. “The 65 billion euros in interest alone is just as large as the education budget.”

A country that enters the excessive deficit procedure (bpp) is given a certain amount of time to get the matter back in order. If a Member State disregards the recommendations, a fine of 0.2 percent of GDP (3.5 billion in the case of Italy) may follow, but it has never come to that.

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