MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Italian government will not give up its plan to increase the country's budget deficit for 2019 compared to the deficit set by the previous administration even if Rome's plan is not accepted by the European Commission, Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said on Monday.
"No, the blood, sweat and tears budgets sent to Brussels by fax, which have massacred the Italians, won't work with us. We won't take even half a centimeter's step back," Salvini was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.
According to the EU limits, the budget deficit of the bloc's members must not exceed 3 percent of the GDP and the public debt must be below 60 percent of GDP. Meanwhile, Italy’s public debt has exceeded 130 percent of the GDP in 2017 and became the largest national debt among all EU states, except for Greece, in the first quarter of 2018.
On Thursday, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs Pierre Moscovici handed a letter of concern to Italian Finance Minister Giovanni Tria from the European Commission after the Italian government proposed to increase the budget deficit for 2019 up to 2.4 percent of the GDP compared to a 1.6-percent deficit envisaged by the previous government.
Over the past 10 years, the budget deficit in Italy has not been lower than 2.5 percent of the GDP, with the indicator dropping to its lowest in 2009 when it stood at 5.3 percent.
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