The day after the result of the Italian referendum, the Eurogroup summit said that Italy must take “the necessary steps to observe the Stability Pact in 2017.” For the group of Europe’s finance ministers, now more than ever, “the operation is at risk” and will require “significant additional measures.” To sweeten the pill, the president of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, said “it is impossible to demand any corrective actions now. We have to wait for the next government.”
The Commission had reached out to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, freezing the analysis of the Italian budget which was postponed to the beginning of next year. However, this gesture did not influence the referendum, which had a result that many now interpret as anti-E.U.
The absence of Italy’s Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan at the Eurogroup meeting (he was replaced by the director of the Treasury) did not help to clear the air (although the Italian minister made phone calls to his colleagues). Thus, the counter is reset to zero, with the possibility of the application of a €5 billion correction, while maintaining “a smaller but still significant departure from the adjustments,” as indicated by Dijsselbloem, due to higher costs for assisting refugees and earthquake-affected areas.