EU holds off on legal action against Italy over debt

Business

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici, left, speaks with European Commissioner for Security Union Julian King during the weekly college meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, July 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s economy commissioner says Italy has answered concerns about its high debt and that Brussels believes it is no longer necessary to launch legal action.

Pierre Moscovici told reporters Wednesday that “an excessive deficit procedure is no longer warranted for Italy at this stage.”

He says he believes that other EU member countries will agree with his assessment, but he says the commission will closely monitor developments.

The commission, which supervises the budget plans of the 28 EU member states, has said that Italy’s public debt stood at 132.2% of GDP in 2018, more than double the EU’s 60% limit.

Moscovici says that intense dialogue between the commission and the Italian government in recent weeks “led to a very, very significant effort” by Rome to address EU concerns.

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