BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Commission is recommending that legal action be taken against the Italy because it failed to respect EU debt rules last year and looks like doing so in coming years, too.
The commission made the recommendation Wednesday and EU member states must now assess the extent of any action against Italy. It could face billions of euros in fines.
Italy's public debt stood at over 132% of GDP in 2018, far above the EU's 60% limit.
The country only won EU approval for its 2019 budget plan after agreeing to reduce the deficit to acceptable levels.
The action comes at a time of rising tensions between Brussels and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini, who has been emboldened by his right-wing League party's strong gains in last month's EU elections.