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Alexander Pigman

Brussels, Belgium
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About Alexander
Alexander Pigman is EU correspondent for AFP, the global French news agency.
English French
Interview (Video / Broadcast) Live Reporting Fact Checking
Business Finance Politics

Italy's budget battle with Brussels: What you need to know

25 Oct 2018  |  thelocal.it
The European Commission has rejected Italy's draft budget, which proposed increased spending against EU rules, and has given a three-week deadline for a revised plan. Italy's public debt is at €2.3 trillion, over 131 percent of GDP, and the proposed budget has a deficit of 2.4 percent of GDP for 2019. The Commission could initiate an 'excessive deficit procedure' that may lead to fines up to 0.2 percent of Italy's GDP. Credit ratings agencies are anticipated to give their opinions soon, which could affect Italy's borrowing rates and potential for default. Moody's has already downgraded Italy's credit rating and revised ratings for 12 Italian financial institutions.

French language eyes 'le comeback' as Britain leaves EU

18 Mar 2018  |  www.thelocal.fr
The dominance of English in the EU's Brussels bubble persists despite the French language's historical significance and the Brexit vote. French-speaking veterans recall a time when French was essential in European decision-making. The shift towards English accelerated in 2004 with the EU's expansion to include former Warsaw pact countries. French President Emmanuel Macron is set to promote French on International Francophonie Day, but the reality remains that English is the most widely spoken foreign language in Europe. While some believe French usage is improving, the consensus is that French will not regain its former prominence in the EU.

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