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Italy ready to veto 2017 EU budget over migration expenses row

Updated: 2016-10-27 10:12

The commission asked further information for the revision of the targets, and the gap emerging with respect to the commitments made last spring, in order to "assess if Italy fulfils the conditions under which the additional flexibility was granted for 2016".

In particular, it mentioned "the extraordinary costs that Italy is incurring for the recent earthquake and migration inflows."

Italy's cabinet had indeed stated the change in the budget plan was linked to additional spending due to a disastrous quake that hit Italian central regions in August, and to the refugee crisis.

A major point of concern for the EU would be the budget deficit forecast, which Italy in its 2017 draft budget raised to 2.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from a previous 1.8 percent forecast in May.

Some 153,450 migrants and refugees have arrived by sea to Italy so far in 2016, including at least 20,000 unaccompanied minors, the cabinet said on Monday.

The total figure is now expected to exceed that of 2015, when this same number of arrivals was registered throughout the whole year.

Some 3,740 migrants and refugees have died crossing the sea in the attempt to reach Europe so far, making 2016 the likely deadliest year in the Mediterranean, the UN refugee agency UNHCR stated. (1 euro = 1.10 US dollars)


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