President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has rejected the budget of the populist Italian coalition government saying it could cause “violent counter-reaction” across the Eurozone economic bloc.
Mr Juncker announced his rejection of the budget, which would increase Italian deficit spending to 2.4 percent of GDP, remarking that “saying yes would lead to violent reactions from other Eurozone countries,” Il Giornale reports.
The Commission president also took a shot at the leaders of the coalition parties, the League’s Matteo Salvini and the Five Star Movement’s Luigi Di Maio, saying that both were looking to place guilt and blame rather than come up with solutions to the issue.
Juncker Claims it is the EU, not Populist Govt Creating a Million Jobs For Italians https://t.co/f6ZGUlOdPO
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 10, 2018
“Europe works according to pre-established rules before the arrival of governments,” Juncker said.
“As in French administrative law, there is a continuity of public service. The new government must respect the word in the international context and in Europe, especially when they themselves adopted the Commission’s recommendations for 2018 and 2019,” he added.
Mr Juncker’s statement was largely derided by both Salvini and Di Maio with the latter asking who Juncker actually speaks for, noting his party’s weak performance at the recent Luxembourg elections.
“Juncker can continue to revolt, he still has some time remaining until May,” Di Maio added, regarding the upcoming European Parliament elections.
The Italian budget is set to increase spending largely to pay for the minimum basic income proposed by the Five Star Movement but Juncker said he would not condemn the specific policy, saying: “If I said that we are against those measures, this would have as a consequence that some in the Italian government would attack the Commission because it prohibits fighting against poverty.”
Top Eurocrat Juncker Attacks ‘Stupid Populists’ in Attempts to Reach out to Eurosceptics https://t.co/X8ZOBivDBa
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 9, 2018
The row is just the latest between Italy and the European Commission which have claimed the Italian populists are attempting to “destroy” the European project
Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pierre Moscovici even referred to populists across Europe, including the Italians, as “little Mussolinis“.