Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Thursday his government will ask EU finance chiefs to give it more time for the budgetary economic incentive to take effect on the economy.
He again refused to change the budget plan for 2019 to comply with EU rules on deficit, saying Italy will soon send a letter to the European Commission explaining the reasoning behind its big-spending policy.
“We will explain in detail what we want to achieve with this maneuver … to speed up investment and revise some measures in parliament that will increase its positive effect on growth,” Conte said.
Speaking in the lower house of Italy’s parliament, the prime minister said that if the Commission launches its excessive debt procedure against Italy it will ask for a “much longer period of time.”
“We will need this time to allow for this economic maneuver to produce effect on growth and reduce the state debt,” he explained.
Italy’s debt load is estimated at 131 percent of its economic output. The EU’s executive body has told Rome to be more prudent about spending next year to prevent excessive deficit. It may now face fines for violating EU’s stringent fiscal rules.