posted on Dec, 7 2004 @ 11:19 AM
The European Union has called into question Italy’s deficit figures. This announcement comes on the heels of the European bodies revelations that
Greece has misstated its deficit figures since 1997. EU rules limit the annual public deficit to no more that 3.0 percent of gross domestic product
BRUSSELS (AFP) - Following embarrassing revelations over Greece's budget data, the European Union expressed alarm at the reliability of Italy's own
deficit figures and called for urgent clarification.
Italian Finance Minister Domenico Siniscalco was pressed at an EU meeting here over a European Commission study that appears to cast serious doubt on
his government's data, officials said.
EU economic affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia met Siniscalco before the meeting to discuss a potential hole in Italy's finances caused by
government promises of big tax cuts coupled with deficit reduction efforts.
"Of course we are concerned about the quality of reporting of public financing figures. We have heightened concern now following the Greek case,"
Almunia told a news conference.
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This whole episode underscores the difficulties in maintaining an alliance such as this while maintaining national integrity. While the United States
is close in the EU model, there are vast differences to account for the individual sovereignty of the nations. It seems that when France had
difficulty meeting budgetary expectations, the requirements were revised somewhat. The question is why are they making a big deal over Greece and now
Italy? Is it Italy’s support for the war in Iraq?