October 1, 2018 / 1:48 PM / 16 days ago

Must wait for budget talks to end in Rome before final assessment, Eurogroup's Centeno

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Italy’s euro zone peers have to wait until the end of budgetary negotiations in Rome before passing judgment on the country’s budget for 2019, the chairman of euro zone finance ministers said on Monday.

The European Commission has said that, in its current form, the draft Italian budget for next year clearly breaks EU budget rules, called the Stability and Growth Pact.

EU law gives the Commission the right to reject a draft budget from a euro zone country within 10 days after its receipt on Oct 15 if it is not in line with the Pact.

“It’s very important to understand that the budgetary process is long. We know that there are still negotiations going on in Rome, and we have to wait for that to happen and have our answers at the end of the process,” Centeno told reporters on arrival for monthly talks of euro zone finance ministers.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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