France and Italy Warned by Brussels Over High Debt Levels

Brussels has warned France and Italy that they are running stubbornly high levels of public debt, meaning their future budgets risk breaching EU rules and alarming investors, the Financial Times reported. The European Commission on Wednesday published its opinion on the 2020 draft spending plans of all eurozone member states. It had harsh words for Paris, Rome and Madrid which, it said, had failed to make use of good economic times to chip away at their debt burdens. Valdis Dombrovskis, commission vice-president in charge of the euro, said France, Italy and Spain — as well as Belgium — were “not expected” to meet the EU’s debt reduction targets for next year. “In 2020, they plan either no meaningful fiscal adjustment or even a fiscal expansion,” said Mr Dombrovskis. “This is worrying because very high debt levels limit the capacity to respond to economic shocks and market pressures.” Read more