EU’s future in danger as Italy plots ‘attack’ to remove key rule keeping euro alive

Angela Merkel heckled during speech in German Bundestag

Sign up to receive our rundown of the day’s

top stories

direct to your inbox

Invalid email

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time.

More info

Mario Draghi’s government wants to abolish “moderate borrowing” so that debt-plagued countries like Italy can once again get their hands on exorbitant amounts of cash “on tick”. The so-called Stability Pact limits the budget deficit of the


countries to three percent of economic output and the total debt to 60 percent.

Related articles

It was introduced to control government spending – especially in countries that have a history of ropey public finances.

In order to better cope with the consequences of the pandemic, these rules are suspended until the end of the next year.

However, Brussels is planning to reintroduce them in full from 2023.


and several other


states have lobbied against the rules for years – arguing that they unfairly target smaller economies in the bloc looking to develop quickly.


Taliban savagely execute Afghan TikTok comedian who mocked militants

Mario Draghi is plotting an “attack’ on the euro, it has been claimed

(Image: Getty)

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi

(Image: Getty)

But northern EU countries – namely


– refused.

They argued member states should have manageable debt – especially after the 2008 banking crisis brought about in part by banks becoming overloaded with debt.

The status quo remained for years and seemed unlikely to ever change.

But now Mr Draghi and EU Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni are reportedly hoping a relaxation of rules introduced during the pandemic will remain – allowing his country access to more cheap debt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

(Image: Getty)


Italian publication Repubblica said the pair are currently waiting to see the outcome of this month’s German federal elections.


Angela Merkel

successor has been appointed they reportedly want to broach the subject – which many debt-prone EU countries have long complained are too tight.

French Economic Minister Bruno Le Maire told the paper that the Italian’s goal is to maintain the pandemic’s rules.

It is claimed that Rome wants to undermine the strict criteria in the long run.

Ms Merkel’s likely successor Armin Laschet

(Image: Getty)

However, doing so would make government’s in northern EU countries look like there were unnecessarily relaxing rules for their spendthrift southern neighbours.

This would play into the hands of populists and inflame anti-EU rhetoric – making such an eventuality unlikely.

However, Mr Gentiloni believes there is a “technical trick” which will keep all sides happy.

He wants the rules axed for EU countries which have reduced at least one-twentieth of the national debt every year until the hurdle of 60 percent of the gross national product has been met.

Angela Merkel steps down later this month

(Image: Getty)

Related articles

In this way, the strict criteria can be skirted around without a head-on battle to alter the EU’s rules.

It would also allow northern EU countries to save face by pointing out that the important 60 percent hurdle would remain, it is claimed.

In reality, though, it would relieve relentless pressure from Brussels on countries including Italy, Greece, Spain or Portugal – which all use the


– to consistently reduce their debts.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

Related articles