Italy's budget at risk of breaking EU rules, France squeezes through
Italy and Finland's draft budget plans for 2014 are at risk of breaking European Union rules, while French, Spanish and Dutch draft plans barely make it, the European Commission said today.
It is the first time that the European Union's executive arm reviews the main assumptions of draft budgets of euro zone countries before they are submitted to national parliaments so as to assess if they are in line with EU laws.
The assessments do not involve programme countries like Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Greece.
The Commission said it would start disciplinary steps against Croatia for running too high a budget gap and step up the disciplinary action, called the excessive deficit procedure, against Poland for not doing enough to cut its deficit.
The Commission will set 2015 as the new deadline by which Warsaw must bring its budget deficit below the EU ceiling of 3pc of gross domestic product.