EU Economics

Juncker tells Italy to be GRATEFUL for EU BILLIONS – because there will be NO MORE

MATTEO Renzi who has been wrangling for a better EU deal for Italy has been told by Jean-Claude Juncker that there will be no more money.

Jean-Claude Juncker and Matteo RenziGETTY

Jean-Claude Juncker has told Matteo Renzi there will be no more flexibility with money

European Commission President Juncker said Italy had already been able to spend €19 billion because of the so-called stability pact.However, he warned Italian prime minister Renzi that the flexibility extended to the debt-ridden country would not continue.

Juncker said: “The stability pact is in effect – Italy has already taken €19 billion.

“The Stability Pact, which should not be a flexibility pact, already includes a lot of flexibility.”Without the flexibility that we have introduced, that I have introduced, Italy would have had €19 billion less to spend this year.”

Addressing a session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Juncker said: “We introduced the clause on investment and Italy is the only country to benefit from it.

“The stability pact is not stupid, like my predecessor used to say.”The figures prove it and we have included elements of flexibility to make it work.

“The pact works and is in effect. People say I turned the stability pact into a flexibility pact, but it is not true.

“There is some truth because we have added a dimension of flexibility to ensure that the deal closely follows the macro economic development of Europe, but the pact is in force and it works”.

Matteo RenziEPA

Mr Renzi has criticised the EU following the Bratislava summit

Juncker’s statement looks set to create further tension between Italy and EU bureaucrats.Renzi has already issued the EU with an ultimatum over the migrant crisis.

He has told Brussels bureaucrats to deal with immigration, or his government will.

Mr Renzi laid into Juncker as he stepped up his attack on the crumbling bloc after last week’s failed Bratislava summit.

The prime minister said at the end of the summit he was dissatisfied with its closing statement, after he was excluded from a joint news conference by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

Renzi blasted the lack of commitments on the economy and immigration in the summit’s conclusions.

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