Italy’s Finance Minister Giovanni Tria warned Thursday of the potential repercussions of the slowdown of the German economy and slammed the EU for failing to recognise the problem.
‘Italy’s economic slowdown, with its GDP flat in the third quarter, must be placed in a context of a generalized and long-term slowdown in the euro area,’ Tria said.
‘The data out of Germany is not encouraging and its consequences for the Italian economy are worrying,’ he added.
Germany’s years-long run of steady growth came to a screeching halt in the third quarter, official data showed Wednesday, with a 0.2-percent slump in gross domestic product (GDP) between July and September.
It was the first fall in the measure since early 2015 and worse than forecast by analysts after months of troubling economic indicators suggested all was not well with Europe’s biggest economy.
‘The growth problem is a European problem, to be faced together and not in a separate and confrontational way,’ Tria said.
‘Europe seems neither to be aware of the situation, nor able to implement macroeconomic policies to reverse this slowdown at European level,’ he added.
Italy’s populist government is been locked in a battle with the EU over its big-spending 2019 budget.
While Rome insists it is the only way to boost growth, the European Commission says it will only aggravate Italy’s debt troubles.
Germany’s own public finances are very strong and Berlin consistently calls on its EU peers – including Italy – to make sure the accounts balance.