Author Topic: Italian PM Renzi to 'have some fun' publishing EU spending data  (Read 1669 times)

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Offline jujyjuji

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Italian PM Renzi to 'have some fun' publishing EU spending data
« on: October 24, 2014, 12:56:11 PM »
Renzi to 'have some fun' publishing EU spending data

Friday 24 October 2014 07.31

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi last night announced his intention to make public the cost of the European institutions, as a row exploded over his country's budget plans.

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso sharply criticised Italy earlier yesterday for publishing a letter from the EU requesting clarifications on Rome's rule-breaking budget.

Mr Renzi, attending an EU summit in Brussels, responded with his promise to shed light on Brussels' own spending.

"We will publish data on everything that is spent by these palaces. We're going to have some fun," he said on the margins of the summit.

He added that he was surprised at Mr Barroso's response to the publication of the EU letter, as the details had already been published by the Financial Times and an Italian daily.

"The Italian budget poses no problems," he insisted.

Hours before the EU summit, the Italian finance ministry released a letter from the EU's Economic Affairs Commissioner Jyrki Katainen, marked "strictly confidential", drawing the fury of Mr Barroso.

The president of the EU's executive said the commission was against this "unilateral" decision by the Italian government, preferring that negotiations on its budget take place behind closed doors.

Mr Barroso, who steps down on 31 October, said the commission was "in consultations" with several countries over infringement of the rules and "it's better this happen in a context of trust".

French President Francois Hollande said his country had also received an EU Commission letter requiring a reply by the end of the week.

The dialogue with EU officials continues "in very good conditions", he said, stressing France's commitment to EU budgetary rules but "with the maximum flexibility".

French officials said that there was no intention to publicise the details of the "a private letter".