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    Paolo Gentiloni

    Italy to Respect EU Budget Rules Unless National Economy at Risk

    © AFP 2019 / AL-WATAN DOHA / KARIM JAAFAR
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    Italy will adhere to EU budget rules unless doing so proves detrimental to the country and hopes that Brussels will understand its position, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Friday.

    ROME (Sputnik) — Last week, the European commission asked Italy to reduce the country's budget deficit in 2017 by 3.4 billion euros (about $3.6 billion) or about 0.2 percent of its GDP.

    "We will respect European rules, but we will not do anything that could negatively affect us. I hope that Europe does not fail to see and hear, I have written about it to [European Commission President Jean-Claude] Juncker. [Europe] would then do itself a disservice," Gentiloni said at a press conference in Madrid after a meeting with his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy.

    Gentilloni stressed Italy's need for "expansive" policy and added that Rome was still working and negotiating with Brussels.

    The European Commission warned Italy that in case of non-compliance with EU spending rules the country would be liable for fines.

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