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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Pnrr and deficit, the European Union barks but does not sleep

For heaven’s sake, today some newspapers, in the wake of the obvious reactions of the Pd and Cinquestelle, will headline the rejection of autonomy and flat tax, the beatings for seaside resorts and the sound groom About the Pnrr. But the reality is that Brussels yesterday he didn’t sink the shot. Of course, in the recommendations there are the usual inevitable invitations to get a handle on the cadastre, to guarantee the progressivity of the tax authorities and to maintain prudent management of the accounts, given that from next year we will return to the rules of the Stability Pact and we are outside the parameters.

The document also includes a foray into federalist reform, which could create “fiscal complexities” and “jeopardize the government’s ability to direct public spending”, and the advice, fairly telephoned, to hurry up on the Pnrr. And I’ll when Paul Gentiloni illustrates the EU’s position on Italy, the attempt to replace our battered oppositions is not understood. On the contrary. The first thing the commissioner for the economy says is that “the Commission’s intention is not to give report cards to issues that Italian politics discusses” and that even the remarks on autonomy concern only “aspects of public finance”.



PUBLIC ACCOUNTS –In short, no assessments on the merits of the reforms. As for public finances, there are certainly those in Brussels, in view of the end of the truce on the Pact, already smelling blood. Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis stressed that “the Commission does not intend to open new excessive deficit procedures at this stage. However, we will propose the opening of procedures in the spring of 2024″. The problem is that this time the list is long. Along with Italy, there are 13 other countries on the bad list, including Germany and France. Hence the much more conciliatory attitude of Gentiloni, according to whom “in the forecasts of the Italian government there is a virtuous path to reduce the deficit, which we think is very important to maintain”. Even “the objective of primary public spending for Italy in 2024”, said the former premier dem referring to the new criterion of the Pact, “is perfectly consistent with the government’s commitments”. In the calculations on the debt, however, Brussels specified, the expenses for the emergency in Romagna will not be counted.

The real exam for the government was the one on Recovery, an issue on which the only hope of the opposition to score a blow hangs. But even here, the situation seems far from prejudiced. On the Pnrr, the document reads, “it continues to be essential to promptly identify potential delays and implementation problems and adopt timely measures to address them”.



NO DELAYS –Then, however, Gentiloni specified that on the plan “it does not seem that up to now there have been any delays”. Indeed, the rumor circulating in Brussels is that the third installment of 19 billion is one step away from being released. The last obstacle would be related to social housing. But the hypothesis is gaining ground that the EU gives the green light by reducing the sums relating to the points subject to verification.

The problem concerns the changes, on which the economy commissioner assures that there is ample flexibility on the part of the EU. Timing, however, is of the essence. Italy must apply for the fourth installment in June, Gentiloni said, and if the requests for changes arrive later, it will be difficult to meet the deadline. Reasoning that is flawless. For this reason, Minister Raffaele Fitto urged his government colleagues to immediately send the revision hypotheses. Which is happening right now. Once the documentation has been acquired, the government should soon be able to formulate its proposal.

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