November 5, 2018 / 1:52 PM / 14 days ago

Italy puts euro zone integration plans at risk -Slovak finmin

BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Italy’s plans to borrow and spend more despite already large public debt are putting plans of deeper euro zone integration at risk by giving arguments to those who oppose closer economic ties, Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir said on Monday.

In a series of tweets ahead of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels that is to discuss the unprecedented rejection of Italy’s draft 2019 budget by the European Commission for breaking EU rules, Kazimir said:

“If one, any, EU country says SGP rules are of no interest to us, there have to be consequences. It’s simple and clear, written down in Stability and Growth Pact,” Kazimir said.

“We’re rules-based club. It makes us stronger and resilient. We’ve seen economic, financial and political consequences of reckless policies. Let’s not enter these waters, for no reason,” he said.

He said that all euro zone governments wanted sustainable economic growth in Europe and a better life for all Europeans. To achieve that the euro zone had to integrate more deeply.

“Italy’s behavior puts our plans at risk. Bear in mind there are those against deeper integration and that camp can happily use Italy’s stance to dent our strategy,” Kazimir said. (Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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