Italy approves deficit-hiking budget, awaits EU's verdict

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The Commission will now assess the fiscal framework - a separate document from the budget law - over two weeks, and could dismiss it and ask Rome to draw up a new one.

European authorities are already shown to be critical to the figures made public by Italy at the beginning of the month, especially as the public deficit, expected to reach next year to 2.4% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

"We believe that this budget can not possibly be accepted by the European Union, it is a clear violation of the fiscal rules".

The consent of Italy, the euro zone's third biggest economy, is necessary for the process to go forward.

"This budget keeps the government's promises while keeping public accounts in order", Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said at a press conference.


Italian ministers, who have repeatedly bristled at what they see as unnecessary interference from Brussels, urged greater respect for Rome.

The EU Commission is now reviewing Italy's draft budget and can formally raise concerns about it until next Monday. It rejects Rome's argument that the package can lower debt by expanding the economy.

Italy's fiscal plans have pushed up the yield on Italian government bonds, raising borrowing costs for state coffers and creating fears of contagion for the broader euro zone, but Tria brushed off concerns.

Earlier this morning, we reported that according to Deutsche Bank economists - and virtually everyone else except for those who were apparently waving in BTPs yesterday - Italy was squarely on a collision course with the European Commission, whose President Juncker said yesterday that there would be a "violent reaction" from other euro area countries if the Italian budget were to be approved. Officials sought to play down the chances of a major clash, with Giovanni Tria, Italy's foreign minister saying that the "idea that this budget will blow up Europe is totally unfounded". Last week, Italian stocks briefly slipped into a bear market, and while they have rebounded a little, they remain subdued - although Italy's benchmark share index, the FTSE MIB is more than 1% higher on Tuesday.

Salvini on Wednesday called the reported drop-off of the two migrants in a wooded area by two French paramilitary gendarme police - whose van then allegedly drove back across the border at high speed - "an unprecedented affront to our country" and "an worldwide disgrace". After Italy receives the commission's requests, which will occur by late October, it will have three weeks to submit an updated budget proposal.

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