The Finance and Economy ministers of the Eurogroup supported the European Commission's opinion on the State Budget of Italy for 2019, considered a "particularly serious violation" of community rules.
"We support the Commission in its assessment and recommend that Italy take the necessary measures to comply with the Stability and Growth Pact" (PEC), Eurozone finance ministers said at a meeting of the group on Monday night in Brussels.
The Eurogroup also expressed support for the dialogue between the European Commission and the Italian authorities to find a solution to the impasse.
Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici explained that the EU executive has recommended opening an excessive deficit procedure to Italy, based on debt, and is preparing any decisions if the government led by Giuseppe Conte remains intransigent.
"We have to prepare the decisions, which does not mean that we take them," he said.
Pierre Moscovici, speaking at the entrance to the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels, said he had noticed a change of tone in the Government of Italy, which opened the door to a "real dialogue" on the Italian budget plan for 2019.
On 21 November and 23 October, the European Commission rejected the Italian budget for 2019, considering that the proposal contains a "particularly serious risk of non-compliance", and recommended the opening of an excessive deficit-debt procedure.
A press conference by Eurogroup president Mario Centeno, European commissioner Moscovici and the chairman of the European Stability Mechanism, Klaus Regling, initially scheduled for the end of the talks, is now scheduled for 08:45 (07:45 in Lisbon) , as the meeting of euro zone officials lasted for about 12 hours.