The technocratic government of Mario Monti has made significant progress towards overhauling Italy’s economy since it came to office last year, but has not done enough to combat tax evasion and the country’s sizeable black economy, an EU finding to be released this week has determined, the Financial Times reports.
The European Commission report, which is still in draft form and was obtained by the Financial Times before its publication on Wednesday, carries significant weight under new EU rules that give Brussels the right to fine and sanction eurozone countries that do not follow its recommendations.
Officials warned that the 29-page analysis and accompanying six pages of policy recommendations could still be changed, particularly after the full 27-member Commission reviews the findings on Wednesday.
Indeed, portions of the draft obtained by the FT show edits and strike-throughs that appear to be attempts to water down some of the report’s harder-hitting findings. A section that states “no significant measure has been taken to efficiently address” the high levels of off-the-books employment has been struck out. So has a line insisting “still insufficient progress has been made in improving the recovery of unpaid taxes”.Page 1 of 3 | Next Page