For them, the party wants to introduce an accounting for the common good

This caused price increases on the European financial markets. Brussels reacted cautiously.

Italy has a high national debt of around 2.3 trillion euros — this corresponds to more than 130 percent of economic output. According to the euro stability rules, only 60 percent are actually allowed. Rome is therefore obliged to make structural adjustments in the longer term.

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The Italian government coalition made up of Di Maio’s populist five-star movement and the right-wing Lega wants to increase spending in 2019 in order to finance, among other things, basic security, tax breaks and a lower retirement age. It assumes a new debt of 2.4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

When asked whether the planned deficit target of 2.4 percent was set in stone, Lega boss Matteo Salvini said: "I don’t think anyone is set. If there is a budget to grow the country, it could be 2.2 percent or 2.6 percent." It’s not about decimal places.

The EU Commission has fundamental concerns about Rome’s spending plans and recently rejected the existing draft budget in a historically unique process. The Brussels authority also doubts Italy’s deficit calculations.

The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mario Draghi, called for respect for the euro debt rules. "We need to regain trust in our common rules and make sure they are respected"said Draghi on Monday in the European Parliament in Brussels. "As we saw in the past crisis, unsustainable national policies that lead to excessive debt can expose the euro area to risk [..]." These risks could spill over to other countries. States with high debts would have to reduce their debts, Draghi said.

The Bloomberg news agency reported with reference to party circles of the right-wing national Lega that the 2019 government deficit could be 2.0 to 2.1 percent. The government is currently considering this, it said.

The signals created a good mood on the stock exchange in Milan and made the Italian benchmark index FTSE MIB soar by around 3 percent. Hope of a reduction in the planned new borrowing also resulted in price gains for Italian government bonds. At the same time, yields fell. The euro also benefited from the move.

At the beginning of the week, bank stocks in particular rose on the stock exchange. The institutions benefited from the rise in the price of Italian government bonds, which are slumbering in many financial houses’ balance sheets.

The hopes, however, may be a little premature. Deputy Prime Minister Di Maio continued: "It is important that the budget includes our main goals."

In its most recent forecast, the EU Commission in Italy assumed a deficit of 2.9 percent of economic output in 2019 — 0.5 percent more than planned by the government in Rome. In 2020, new debt is expected to even rise to 3.1 percent and thus also tear the euro new debt limit of a maximum of 3.0 percent.

A spokesman for the Brussels authority said on Monday that contacts with Rome were ongoing "at all levels" continue. On Saturday evening, EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker had already received Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

The latest recommendation by the EU Commission to open an official excessive deficit procedure will now be discussed among the EU states, the spokesman said.

In Brussels, it was said that the responsible body would probably deliberate at the end of the week. The decision could then be announced on Monday at the meeting of euro finance ministers. The EU Commission could then initiate criminal proceedings against Italy with possible fines running into billions.community service essay questions

Berlin (dpa) — In view of climate change and environmental pollution, the Greens are calling for a restructuring of the economy and new standards for the prosperity of a society.

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"We cannot protect the climate and hold on to the previous economic model, which is primarily based on the exploitation of resources", said party leader Annalena Baerbock of the German press agency. "As long as our prosperity is measured by how much fossil raw materials we burn and how many kilometers of motorway we build, we will not be able to meet the climate protection targets."

In its key proposal on economic policy for the Green Party Congress in mid-November, the party leadership explains why it considers the standard gross domestic product — or GDP for short — to measure the performance of an economy to be wrong: it is "blind to the social consequences and the ecological damage" the economy, it says. GDP is the value of all goods and services produced in an economy.

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Prosperity should be in the future "more comprehensive" be measured and "map the progress in the ecological restructuring of the economy in the long term", it says in the application. The Greens want to take a first step with the railway, whose shares belong 100 percent to the state. The party wants one for them "Public good accounting" introduce. Larger private companies should report on sustainability indicators such as CO2 emissions in their annual financial statements.

The overall goal should be the "socio-ecological re-establishment of the market economy" be, it says in the application, you need one for that "new regulatory framework for fair, ecological and sustainable business". With this focus, the Greens want to strengthen the economic profile of the party. In this area, the citizens trust the Greens to be less competent than, for example, in their core issue of climate protection. In order to gain a foothold in society, as Baerbock and co-party leader Robert Habeck intend to do, the perception as an eco-party is not enough.

The interlinking of climate protection goals with economic policy is a relevant topic, said Baerbock of the dpa. However, the application also places more emphasis on other issues, for example start-up funding, digitization, faster expansion of the infrastructure and networks.

"We are not yet the main point of contact for these questions", she said. With visits to industrial groups such as Thyssenkrupp or the world’s largest steel company Arcelor Mittal, she wanted to make it clear in her first two years as party leader "that we are not against this part of the economy or industry, but rather talking to them". Addressing the change that is coming anyway is an opportunity to keep Germany as an industrial location. Production should not be given up. "But we have to grow in the sense of a socio-ecological market economy, within the planetary limits"said Baerbock.

Rome / Brussels (dpa) — Italy’s populists are demonstratively relaxed — although they are now completely escalating the budget dispute with the EU. Vice-Prime Minister Matteo Salvini goes for a quick jog before the crucial meeting in the center of Rome.

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In front of dozens of microphones, the second Vice Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio once again praises his argument as to why Italy wants to get into so much more debt than the EU Commission would like.

Give in? Nothing. Despite pressure from Brussels and some euro partners and despite the rollercoaster ride on the financial markets, nothing changes in the debt course of the coalition of Salvini’s right-wing populist Lega and Di Maio’s five-star movement.

Brussels had failed the budget draft from Rome in a historically unique step and demanded changes from Italy because the country had been sitting on a huge mountain of debt for decades. The ultimatum expired on Wednesday night. But no one in Rome wants to shake the controversial 2.4 percent new debt and the — in the opinion of many experts too optimistic — forecast for economic growth.

The country needs this budget in order to get back on its feet, stressed Di Maio. The heart of the draft are costly plans such as the introduction of basic security based on the Hartz IV model, a lower retirement age and tax breaks. From all this, Italy not only expects growth prospects, but also more social justice, as Finance Minister Giovanni Tria made clear in his letter to the EU Commission.

Brussels should now go through a "Protective cushion" be reassured that the Tria government has built in. Rome also promises mechanisms to keep the deficit ratio at 2.4 percent of economic output. State real estate — but not that "Family jewelry"As Di Maio emphasized, they should also be sold in order to flush money into the treasury. Italy also argues that more money should be spent on the collapse of the Genoa bridge or on the storm damage.

"The budget is getting more and more ridiculous", said Wolfango Piccoli from the European think tank Teneo on Twitter. Many economists are less critical of the fact that money should be spent. Rather, they are a thorn in the side that it should flow for election gifts that do not stimulate growth.

The markets were hardly calm either. While the prices of Italian government bonds went down on Wednesday, yields rose sharply in return. That means investors are repelling the bonds, the Italian state has to pay higher interest to investors. Italy’s debt servicing will thus continue to grow — a dangerous spiral.

Concerns about a new debt crisis in Europe are growing rapidly. "In the euro zone, every national decision has an impact on partner countries. That is why the Italian government bears responsibility not only for the Italian people, but for the entire euro area", warned the German CSU MEP Markus Ferber. He demanded a clear edge from the EU Commission.

In terms of content, however, the Brussels authority did not want to comment yet. The revised budget plans from Italy would now be fully assessed, a spokesman said. On Wednesday (November 21), the EU Commission will give its assessment of all budget drafts submitted by the euro countries.

The fact that she does not comment on the Italian budget beforehand could also be due to the fact that she does not want to give the impression that she is treating Italy differently from the other EU countries. Anyway, any criticism of Rome is grist to the mills of Salvini and Co. "With their previous course "Italy first" they have so far been able to score points with their voters"says Caroline Kanter from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Rome.

If Brussels actually initiates an excessive deficit procedure against Rome, the European finance ministers would have to discuss how to proceed. You currently share the Commission’s assessment. Austria would agree to an excessive deficit procedure against its southern neighbor, said Finance Minister Hartmut Löger. Should Rome not give in even then, hefty fines of up to 0.2 percent of Italy’s gross domestic product could be imposed on the country. These could run into billions.

So far, Rome’s government has left it cold. "We only need the inspectors, the blue helmets of the United Nations and the sanctions against Italy", Salvini told the radio station Rai Radio 1. "If you try to even think of imposing sanctions on the Italian people, you are wrong."

For the party leaders who are critical of Europe, the dispute with Brussels means tailwind. For a long time now, they have been blaming the EU in particular for ensuring that Italy is not looking up. If she remains tough in the dispute or even imposes sanctions, she is the bogeyman. That will fuel skepticism about Europe in Italy. If the EU gives in, the populists have achieved their goal with severity. Both the Lega and the stars have their eyes on the European elections in May.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) wrote that in the end the Italians themselves could suffer. Should the government stick to its package, the IMF predicts negative effects. Government spending on pensions, for example — the second highest in the eurozone — is already taking up important resources. Growth would be just one percent of gross domestic product for the years 2018 to 2020, after which it would continue to fall.

So how could Rome be diverted from her path? Should the pressure of the markets increase, citizens should fear for their savings and transfer money abroad — then criticism of the government’s course could also increase among the Italians, Kanter believes.

Brussels (dpa) — Because of the escalating national debt in Italy, the EU Commission takes action after long arguments. The Brussels authority recommended criminal proceedings against the country on Wednesday because the government did not take adequate countermeasures in 2018.

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Now the ball rests with the EU countries.

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