Jobless rate, not EU rules should dictate fiscal policy - Salvini

FILE PHOTO: Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini addresses a major rally of European nationalist and far-right parties ahead of EU parliamentary elections in Milan, Italy May 18, 2019. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

VICENZA, Italy (Reuters) - Italy’s jobless rate and not the European Union’s “outdated” fiscal rules should determine whether Rome can hike public spending, Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said on Monday.

“We are putting top of the list not the 3 percent (budget deficit ceiling) but the jobless rate. We are asking for it (the jobless rate) to be the benchmark determining whether we can or cannot spend,” Salvini told reporters.

“I want to bring it down to 5 percent from 10 percent. When we get to 5 percent then we will respect all the rules in the world.”

Reporting by Riccardo Bastianello, writing by Silvia Aloisi, editing by Mark Bendeich