News analysis

An Italian job that leaves EU executive arm teetering

Commission wedged in a tight spot whether or not it takes Italy to task over budget deficit

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, is expected to decide today whether to launch disciplinary procedures against Italy in response to that country's refusal to respect EU financial rules.

Any decision to punish Italy will engage the EU on a collision course with a key European nation, with untold consequences for the continent. But allowing Italy to escape from the financial straitjacket imposed on other nations operating the euro single currency will expose the commission to a backlash from other EU member states.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2018, with the headline 'An Italian job that leaves EU executive arm teetering'. Print Edition | Subscribe