Italy’s finance chief says budget talks with the EU will continue despite disagreements

The standoff between Italy and the EU continues as both sides have not yet overcome their differences regarding Rome’s 2019 budget.

Willem Marx in Brussels.

The European Commission decided to ask Italy to change its 2019 budget plan and to submit the new version by November 13. However, back in Rome, government members have said they will not change their spending plans.

Tria told CNBC that Italy will have to explain its position to the commission. “I don’t want to anticipate the answer,” he said.

The European Commission will announce on November 21, an opinion on all of the euro zone’s draft budgets. If there is no change in the budget plan, Brussels could eventually open an excessive deficit procedure (EDP) — a legal step that aims to help countries respecting European fiscal rules and putting their finances back on track.

Pierre Moscovici, commissioner for economic affairs, told CNBC Tuesday that rules can be interpreted in different ways, but Italy is currently going against them.

“One thing is to be flexible, the other thing is to be against the rules,” Moscovici told CNBC’s Willem Marx. “Our flexibility has always been deployed, and especially for Italy,” he added.