EU-Italy ties

Added On March 1, 2016

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker struck a conciliatory tone during talks held in Rome on Friday, following months of tension between Rome and authorities in Brussels.
World News has more.
According to an official statement, Juncker's visit occurred as Renzi's cabinet just completed its second year, and their talks covered various topics, including economic issues and the European Union (EU) response to the ongoing refugee crisis.
During the press conference, Renzi said he was counting on Junker's Commission in order to work with Italy in this direction.
Juncker stressed he "strongly valued" the talks held with Renzi, and his own visit to Rome.
He also praised Italy for exhibiting an "exemplary behaviour" in the migrant crisis, which might provide a model for other more hesitant EU countries.
Since December, the relations between Rome and Brussels had appeared quite under strain.
Renzi's cabinet lambasted the EU, and especially the Commission, for being too focused on austerity policies instead of growth, and too bureaucratic.
The Italian PM also accused the EU's executive arm of having "double standards" and favouring Germany, yet failing to provide a common adequate response on the refugee crisis and other topics.
Juncker warned Italy to water down its criticism of EU policies, and, admitted in January the mood between Italy and the rest of the EU, and the Commission in particular, was "not the best ever".
After the more conciliatory meeting on Friday, Renzi stated Italy was committed to bringing down its public debt, which is the second highest in the euro-zone after Greece, and to respecting the Commission's decision in terms of budget.