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Italy ready to veto 2017 EU budget over migration expenses row

Updated: 2016-10-27 10:12
Italy ready to veto 2017 EU budget over migration expenses row

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi attends a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium October 21, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

ROME - Italy would be ready to veto next European Union (EU) budget, if other European partners do not provide more help in the migration crisis, according to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Renzi made his remarks on Tuesday evening, after tension between the EU Commission and Rome increased over Italy's own 2017 budget draft.

He specifically mentioned Hungary and Slovakia as example of eastern countries less willing to share the burden of Europe's migrant crisis.

According to Renzi, Italy was currently contributing some 20 billion euros (about 22 billion US dollars) to the EU's budget, receiving 12 billions euros back.

The political background of the current row between Rome and Brussels was related to the doubts raised by EU authorities over Italy's 2017 budget draft.

The EU Commission, in charge of reviewing EU countries' draft budgets, on Tuesday sent a letter to Italy after examining its budgetary plan for next year, asking explanation for a breach of previous fiscal commitments.

The letter was addressed to Italian Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, and it gave Italy 48 hours to reply.

"Italy has benefited from significant flexibility under the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact both in 2015 and 2016," the commission said.

Part of such flexibility was "granted subject to Italy making use of this allowance for the purpose of ... presenting credible plans to resume the adjustment as of 2017".

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