04:52 GMT +326 March 2019
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    Prime Minister of Italy Giuseppe Conte at the NATO summit of heads of state and government, Brussels

    Italian PM: No Revolt Against EU Amid Sanctions Threat

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    This Wednesday the European Commission rejected Italy's Budget Plan for the second time, setting the talks over the 2019 budget into motion.

    Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte stated that "there is no revolt against EU" regarding Italy's national budget.

    "We are responsible, there is no revolt against EU. We have a common goal with Europe and we are working towards lowering an external debt", Conte said.

    Answering the question whether Italy is going to make any amendments to the 2019 draft budget, which was recently rejected by the European Commission (EC) as it "seriously violated" EU's fiscal rules, Conte said that country's authorities won't refuse any suggestions "for the sake of Italians".

    This Thursday Giuseppe Conte was delivering a speech in font of Italian Parliament in Rome, commenting on his next steps after the EC's rejection of Italian budget plan.

    READ MORE: Italy's Budget: No Side Interested in Not Finding Deal Before Deadline — Scholar

    On Wednesday the European Commission again rejected Italy's proposed budget, saying that "Italy's draft budget plan is in particularly serious non-compliance" with European Union debt rules.  Thus, as Valdis Dombrovskis, Commission Vice President concluded: Brussels has "no alternative" but to demand amendments.

    Giuseppe Conte, however, reaffirmed the value of the Italian draft budget, calling it "excellent". He also expressed his hopes concerning his upcoming meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, which is to take place on Saturday (Nov 24).

    After the rejection of its budget plan, Italy has three weeks to come up with a new proposal. If Rome fails to do succeed, it could face fines, according to the EU's debt legislation.

    READ MORE: EU Rejects Italy Budget Plan, Prepares for Sanctions

    Earlier Italy's deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini stated that Italy is ready to counter Brussel's pressure concerning the state's budget as Rome is "convinced about the numbers", calling for the EC to "respect the Italian people".

    Deputy PM also made sarcastic remarks in regard of the EU's demands by saying the following: "A letter from the EU? I'm also waiting for one from Father Christmas".

    READ MORE: 'Changing the Economic Vector': Will Italy Leave EU Amid Budget Row With EC?

    Italy has one of the highest external debts, estimated at more than 130 percent of its GDP (around $2.6 trillion) among the EU member-countries. Italy's budget plan was rejected for the second  time as it was considered to be non-effective in terms of reaching the goal of lowering country's debt.


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