The vice-president said yesterday that the government will “do everything in its power” to seal the agreement on reforming European budget discipline rules throughout the term of the Spanish presidency until it comes into force in 2025 as planned. Nadia Calvino. However, the one in charge of the economy also realized that at present, different governments have divergent opinions on the proposal made by the European Commission the day before. In addition to the fundamental differences, especially on the part of countries that demand more effective control of public finances, the new rules will find a large part of member states with problems, whether in the area of deficit or debt, as well as investments in climate policies and the energy transition.
For Calvino, who spoke upon his arrival at the informal meeting of the Eurogroup in Stockholm, “It is very good that the Commission has presented a legislative text because this gives us a basis to start working seriously with the rest of the Member States, working on texts and concrete proposals, thus achieving the maximum possible progress.” During the Spanish presidency in the second half of this year, the Commission’s proposal states that countries that exceed the traditional limits of deficit of 3% or 60% of public debt to GDP, or both, should present a plan to rectify the situation in four years in which the cuts should be considered spending of at least 0.5% of GDP in the budgets.The Commission will then send to those countries a blueprint for framing concrete plans, which the governments themselves must supplement with ‘authoritative’ procedures.
At the Stockholm meeting, w Economy ministers The eurozone is not yet at the center of the debate over the new fiscal rules, although on this occasion there was already a meeting of the finance ministers of the three presidencies (the current one, Sweden, with Spain and Belgium, which will be as follows) to try to coordinate programmes.
Calvino acknowledged that it was a “difficult file” and that there were “very different positions around the table”, referring above all to Germany’s reluctance, but at the same time stressing that he considered it positive that there was already specific legislation legitimate. “We have to start seeing how different positions play out and how we can focus on a timeline and strategy to make the most progress possible and, if possible, reach an agreement before the end of the year.”
Yesterday, the Commission confirmed that the new rules aim to provide more gradual paths to adjust the public finances of troubled countries.