Italy’s threat to veto the next seven-year EU budget will become reality if the bloc doesn’t change its tune on migration, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said Monday.
“If the immigration situation does not change soon, a veto will be certain,” Di Maio said in a Facebook post.
“Above all, it is not a dogma to approve the Multiannual Financial Framework of the next seven years, which they would like to pass in a hurry before the next European election.”
Di Maio’s comments come after European Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger hit back at Rome’s threat not to pay into the bloc’s coffers if countries don’t accommodate its demands on migration. Oettinger told POLITICO’s Brussels Playbook that Rome’s claim about giving €20 billion annually to the EU was wrong.
“It’s not €20 billion a year. Italy pays in €14, 15, 16 billion a year. If you take into account what they get out of the EU budget, that leaves a net contribution of €3 billion a year,” Oettinger said. “€20 billion is a travesty.
“Nobody likes to pay. But if you order, you have to pay,” Oettinger added. “And the member states have ordered and are ultimately the beneficiaries of European budget policy. That’s why we expect their payments to come.”