The EU has put us in the crosshairs for the debt, but don't panic

Deficit procedure by the EU, yes, but don't panic. The Minister of Economy and Finance, Giancarlo Giorgetti, at a hearing on European governance in the Budget Committees of the House and Senate confirmed that “the European Commission recommends that the Council open a procedure for excessive deficit against our country as well as several other ” (in detail 12 others including France).

Most likely it will not even lead to a real infringement procedure but rather we may receive a letter from Brussels where the government will be invited to act with prudence and to keep an eye on the accounts in the next measures. In fact, it should be remembered that April is the month of Def. The document should be brought to the Council of Ministers next Tuesday and “will be lighter” also in consideration of “the current transition phase” for European governance. Giorgetti in fact explained at the hearing how the government will do “things based on the instructions received, in a context in which the rules have not yet been defined, are not yet specified and therefore cannot be applied but this was easily foreseeable given the complexity of the themselves and the situation. After that there will still be interesting numbers.”

This is therefore nothing shocking, this hypothesis had already been feared in the Def presented in 2023, and it is not an unexpected situation given that the suspension of the Stability and Growth Pact, decided following the pandemic and then extended due of the energy crisis, ended at the end of 2023. “We have other rules, and if you read, in the approved governance, you will find that, for the countries that are in the excessive deficit procedure, we, France and 10 others, we have other types of rules, such as the reduction of 0.5% per year”. Giorgetti explains, pointing out that “we are not so stupid as to have made a negotiation without knowing exactly what the terrain and the scenario in which we were going to fit in”.

Hence the importance of keeping the level of public debt under control and the need to carefully monitor and measure the actual benefits for each individual expenditure. The government's latest crackdown on the Superbonus must also be read in this light, which definitively put an end to the transfer of credit and discounts on invoices to protect the state's accounts. It must be said that the Italian situation is stable and there is investor confidence. Just look at the rush to buy BTPs. “The Italian public accounts are in order and we do not expect the announcement of imminent corrective measures in the next Def. The ratio between deficit and GDP for 2024 will be less than 5% and in any case below the highest forecasts circulated in recent weeks. In any case, it will be a level that could push the European Commission to signal to our government the need to avoid further deviations in budget policies”, underlines the Unimpresa study centre.