The European Commission, on Wednesday warned that Britain and Italy needed to press ahead with economic reforms, while Germany should further boost public investment.
The warning comes against the backdrop of its latest economic health check of the 27 European Union (EU) member states.
Italy, the eurozone’s third-largest economy, has long been a growth foot-dragger.
In the EU, it is the only country besides Greece whose Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has not returned to pre-2008 financial crisis levels.
The current coronavirus outbreak in Italy’s economic heartland is expected to weigh further on the economy.
Germany, on the other hand, has been called on time and again to boost public investment and help stimulate eurozone growth, given its large budget surplus, which reached a record 13.5 billion euros in 2019.
According to the commission, Italy, along with former bailout recipients Greece and Cyprus, is experiencing excessive economic imbalances, as Rome’s mountain of public debt is among the highest in the eurozone, is still on the rise.
The EU Executive, however, noted that the Italian authorities made no progress in implementing reforms that would reduce the burden of old-age pensions on public spending.
According to the commission, Germany made some progress in boosting public and private investment, but EU Economy Commissioner, Paolo Gentiloni, said that large surpluses remained a concern.