Apparently, in the European Union, everyone is treated equally but there are some that are more ‘equal’ than others
Jean Claude Juncker, the European Union’s Commissioner has given a ‘free pass’ on fiscal rules to the more relaxed French budget “because it is France”, in a comment that may not sit well with other Eurozone countries such as Italy, where interior minister Salvini claimed the same for his own country, starting a standoff between Italy and the EU over its 2019 deficit goal.
Juncker back in 2015 gave France two more years to lower its budget deficit below the 3% of GDP threshold (which is a requirement to join the Eurozone) even though France missed on the targets it had itself agreed.
When confronted why, the Commission, on several occasions, turned a blind eye to French budget infractions, Juncker admitted vigorously in an interview that it did so “because it is France”.
“I know France well, its reflexes, its internal reactions, its multiple facets,” Juncker said, adding that budget rules should not be applied “blindly”.
Mr Juncker then reinforced that France shall respect its budget deficit next year, disregarding how unlikely it might be, taking into account France’s infractions history in the most recent years.