Italy forecasts a European Commission proposal on ways to change EU debt rules will spark extensive criticism across the bloc, according to the country’s economy minister.

Giancarlo Giorgetti told lawmakers on Wednesday: “I can already imagine that the reform will meet opposition.” 

The European Commission proposed to amend the European Union’s fiscal regulations so governments would deal with reducing their individual debt according to reforms and investments. 

As it stands, current regulations state that countries in the eurozone must reduce debt each year by 1/20th of the excess over 60% of GDP, Reuters reports. In the case of Italy, the country’s debt is around 150% of GDP. 

Within the EU executive’s proposal, each country would agree an individual debt reduction plan over four years with the Commission, which would be agreed by other EU finance ministers, as opposed to just one rule for all. 

In addition, the four-year term could be extended to seven, should the extension be warranted by reforms and investment, the report adds. 

“Some like us will consider it excessively prescriptive towards over-indebted countries, others like the Nordic countries will find it unnecessarily lax. There will be a difficult negotiation," Italy’s economy minister added before Brussels formalised the proposal. 

Giorgetti stated the country’s public debt is the highest in the eurozone after Greece, and is forecast to gradually decline from the 2021 level of 150.3% of GDP to 141.2% in 2025. 

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