03 Jan 2019
On Saturday, Italy’s parliament approved a revised budget for 2019, putting an end to months of doubt surrounding its fiscal future.
Despite a previous government agreeing with the EU to keep the deficit below 1.8% of Italy’s GDP, Italy’s new government had proposed to increase it to 2.4% of GDP.
This was faced with criticism and concerns surrounding Italy’s debt, resulting in Rome having to reconsider its budget so as to avoid disciplinary consequences.
On December 19th, a deficit of 2.04% was agreed upon by Brussels and Rome in an effort to compromise, amounting to around €6 billion less than the primary proposal. Lawmakers in the country’s lower house then approved the budget by 313 votes to 70 on Saturday evening.
Italy passed the legislation just 48 hours prior to the year-end deadline – which was critiqued by opposition lawmakers, who argued that the last-minute agreement limited Parliament’s ability to debate the proposals.
Speaking in an interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper on Monday, Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and leader of the Lega Nord, said: "I hope this will be the last budget being approved after long and complicated negotiations with Brussels.”