On Saturday, Trump said he would impose additional sanctions against Iran in a bid to prevent the country obtaining nuclear weapons.World Politicsread more
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran will likely escalate in the near future, a former adviser to the Iranian government said on Monday.Energyread more
Chinese vice commerce minister said Monday that Beijing would like the U.S. to cancel "inappropriate" actions against Chinese companies.China Economyread more
A decisive win for Turkey's main opposition party in a re-run of a mayoral election in Istanbul this weekend has prompted hopes for economic and political change.Europe Politicsread more
Sixteen Asia Pacific countries have been negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership since 2013, with India's reluctance to open up its markets a major...Asia Economyread more
The secretary of State said he was traveling to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to make sure that the U.S. is "strategically aligned" with its allies.Politicsread more
Experts say Facebook's cryptocurrency project Libra has been a catalyst for the price of bitcoin going higher.Technologyread more
Goldman Sachs helped state firm 1MDB to raise $6.5 billion in 2012 and 2013, and collected higher-than-typical fees of $600 million for the deals.Financeread more
Value investing has become increasingly irrelevant thanks to central banks and technology, according to AB Bernstein.Investingread more
Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said all 16 countries negotiating a mega Asia-Pacific trade agreement should remain in the framework.World Economyread more
Stocks in Asia Pacific traded mixed on Monday afternoon, while oil prices continued to rise as tensions between the U.S. and Iran lingered after the latter shot down an...Asia Marketsread more
Italy's 2019 budget draft is in serious breach of EU budget rules, the European Commission told Rome on Thursday, in a step that prepares the ground for what would be an unprecedented rejection of a member state's fiscal plan.
The Commission said in a letter to Economy Minister Giovanni Tria, published on its website, that planned government spending was too high, the structural deficit - excluding one-offs and business cycle effects - would rise instead of fall, and that Italian public debt would not fall in line with EU rules.
"Those three factors would seem to point to a particularly serious non-compliance with the budgetary policy obligations laid down in the Stability and Growth Pact," the letter said.
The Commission said that the draft budget envisaged a nominal rate of growth of net government expenditure next year of 2.7 percent, while EU rules allowed Italy only 0.1 percent.
The structural deficit would rise 0.8 percent of GDP next year, while a binding recommendation by EU finance ministers from July obliged Rome to cut it by 0.6 percent of GDP.
"Moreover, with Italy's government debt standing at around 130 percent of GDP, our preliminary assessment also indicates that Italy's plans would not ensure compliance with the debt criterion benchmark ... which requires a steady reduction of the debt level towards the 60 percent threshold," the letter said.
The Commission also asked Tria to explain why he ignored a negative opinion on the budget's macroeconomic assumptions from the Parliamentary Budget Office - Italy's independent fiscal monitoring institution - which also violates EU law.
The Commission asked Rome to respond by Monday.
The letter is part of required consultations between the Commission and any euro zone government whose draft budget clearly breaks EU rules.
Unless the main parameters of the budget are changed, the Commission is likely to send the draft back to authorities in Rome asking for changes for the first time since it got draft-budget vetting powers in 2013.