BRUSSELS, June 5 (Xinhua) -- The European Commission on Wednesday called for legal action against Italy for its failure to respect EU debt rules last year and possible further breach in both 2019 and 2020.
"Italy's public debt stood at over 132 percent of GDP in 2018, far above the EU's 60 percent limit," the commission said in the report called "Council Recommendation on the 2019 National Reform Programme of Italy and delivering a Council opinion on the 2019 Stability Programme of Italy".
The ratio of the nation's debt to gross domestic product (GDP) will "rise in both 2019 and 2020, up to over 135 percent, due to a large debt-increasing 'snowball' effect, a declining primary surplus, and underachieved privatization proceeds", says the report.
The report is the first step before the commission by July could start a formal sanctions procedure against Italy. But Brussels has made it clear that the process could be blocked if Rome could make sufficient fiscal commitments.