May 29, 2018 / 6:32 PM / in 6 months

EU's Oettinger apologizes for comments on Italy

European Union Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger holds a news conference to present the EU executive's final proposal for the bloc's next long-term budget, in Brussels, Belgium, May 2, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger apologized on Tuesday after comments suggesting Italian voters would be punished by markets for voting for eurosceptic populists caused an uproar in the country.

“I fully respect the will of voters being left, right or center and in every country. By referring to the actual market developments in Italy, I did not mean to be disrespectful and I apologize for this,” he said in a statement.

“Italy as a founding member (of the European Union) played and plays an important role in European integration and I hope it will continue on this path.”

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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