Italy blocks savings deal
European finance ministers failed to reach agreement on EU savings tax on Friday, after Italy blocked a deal.
Ministers failed to reach agreement after Italy linked the two separate dossiers on savings and energy. Ecofin chairman, Nikos Christodoulakis said that a special pre-summit meeting will take place on 19 March in a bid to reach conclusion.
The problems came when Italy said that its backing for a savings deal would be conditional on concessions to diesel fuel and milk quotas – a long running bone of contention.
German finance minister, Hans Eichel, expressed his frustration at the stance Italy has taken. ‘I am astonished that we are again having problems with the (savings) tax package,’ he told AFX News. ‘Italy has linked a completely unrelated issue to this. We will have to meet again in 14 days,’ he added.